Cebu City Council approves release of 12M barrio fund to ABC

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio April 09,2019 - 05:43 PM

The Cebu City Council session on April 2, 2019 approved the release of the P12-million Barrio Fund to the Association of the Barangay Councils. | CDND Photo / Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — After 39 years of being a dormant fund, the P12 million “Barrio Fund” will be released to the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) following the Cebu City Council’s approval to transfer the management of the money under the care of the ABC.

ABC President and Ex-officio Councilor Franklyn Ong said the money will be used to purchase tents, motorcycles, and chairs and will be equally distributed to the 80 barangays under Cebu City.

But Ong said they may have to wait for the elections to be over before they can have access to this amount because of the ban on releasing funds set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Transferring the P12-million Barrio Fund under the care of ABC met opposition during the Cebu City Council’s regular session on April 2, 2019.

According to Cebu City Councilor Jocelyn “Joy” Pesquera, the P12 million is the “unused” Barrio Fund that Cebu City’s barangays put up in 1980 as a trust fund.

The original plan was to spend the interest in barangay projects but this amount was left unused.

In an interview with CDN Digital, Pesquera explained that all barangays must release a barangay resolution to authorize the ABC to take the money from the city government.

Pesquera said the move of the ABC can be considered as “malversation of funds” since they did not properly go through the process of getting the barangay approval.

Ong defended in the council session that the majority of the barangay captains agreed that the ABC should hold the money.

However, Pesquera said the barangay captains do not represent the barangays and the decision must come from each barangay council.

During the session, nine council members approved the resolution of Ong to regain the Barrio fund.

Six councilors abstained from voting on Ong’s resolution including Councilor Jose Daluz III, who agreed that the trust fund has been dormant for years and should be given to the barangays. However, Daluz said the process of giving back the money to the barangays should be further looked into.

Two councilors, Pastor “Jun” Alcover Jr. and Pesquera, opposed the resolution.

Pesquera said the ABC does not have the authority to take the trust fund from the city government.

Alcover and Pesquera’s opposition, however, was drowned by the approval of the majority of the council.

Ong said the money from the barangay trust fund needs to be utilized after being dormant for almost four decades.

“It’s about time to use it,” said Ong.

Ong said the money will be spent to buy motorcycles, chairs, tents and other similar materials before they will be equally distributed to the barangays because the ABC does not have any record as to how much the specific barangays contributed for the trust fund back in 1980. / celr

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TAGS: Association of Barangay Councils, Barrio Fund, Cebu City Council, Cebu City Council session

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