Two opposition councilors question Osmeñas motive in plant to grant honorariums and scholarships to SK officials

By: Morexette Erram May 18,2018 - 05:51 PM

Two Cebu City Councilors from the opposition bloc expressed their support on Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s plans to provide incentives and scholarship grants to all newly-elected Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials.

But at the same time, they questioned the mayor’s intentions on doing so.

Councilors Joel Garganera and Raymond Alvin Garcia, both from the Barug Team Rama – PDP Laban, told reporters in a press conference yesterday that granting honorarium and scholarships to the over 500 elected SK officials in Cebu City is only appropriate for the city government to support the youth sector.

However, both expressed their reservations about Osmeña’s motives.

“That’s very good. We support that 100 percent since that’s a very good program from the mayor to the SK chairperson and the councilors. But I want to ask him the question: when he assumed office in 2016, the first thing he did was to cut the honorarium of barangay officials. And then now he knows very well it is SK Federation elections, he’s dangling honoraria to these SK councilors and chairman?” said Garcia.

During the mass oath-taking of the newly-elected SK officials in Cebu City, Osmeña announced his plans to give additional honoraria as well as scholarship grants to the young politicians. But the mayor said he is still finalizing it.

But for Garganera, a vocal critic against Osmeña, the event could have been better if the mayor just simply shared his insights on leadership and governance.

He also shared Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella’s calls for politicians, who belong in the older generation, not to interfere in the affairs of the SK.

“It was organized by the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and the mayor was there. Maybe, it could have been better if you only talk with them about leadership instead of giving them incentives and scholarships,” Garganera said.

“For me, politicians should keep off from the SK. In the past six years, they’ve been accused as too young and too corrupt and they’re too political so we’re trying to change the image. And that’s the essence of their training and seminar – to enable them to be independent. They should manage their own affairs when they present but when the mayor dangles these incentives, we go back to square one again,” he added.

Meanwhile, netizens questioned whether or not Osmeña’s announcement constituted to vote-buying but the Commission on Elections in Central Visayas (Comelec – 7) said it depends as to when the incentives will be distributed.

“But if it will go beyond the election period, that’s not under Comelec anymore but maybe that matter should be forwarded to the COA (Commission on Audit),” said Comelec – 7 regional directors Veronico Petalcorin.

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