Rama to City Hall officials, employees in garbage collection mess: Take leave of absence

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 18,2022 - 11:12 AM

Cebu City Hall

Cebu City Hall

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will be asking City Hall department heads and employees who are the subject of a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) over an “anomalous” garbage deal to take a leave of absence.

Their leaves, according to Rama, will be charged to their available leave credits.

And while they are on leave, the City Legal and Human Resources Offices at City Hall would also decide what actions to take on behalf of the city government.

“First, being aware of the names [of those who are under investigation] and definitely the accusations constitute issues of trust and confidence. My position now is [for] those who have been much identified, for purposes of them enjoying the seasons, should take a leave of absence. And the case will continue, the due process, definitely, will be afforded and that is the directive I will have to give to the city attorney in conjunction and collaboration with the Human Resources Department,” Rama said in a press conference that was held at City Hall late afternoon on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Lawyer Collin Rosell, Rama’s assistant on fiscal matters, and lawyer Jerone Castillo were also present during the press conference.

Rama said that while these department heads and employees take their leave of absence, someone will have to take over their assigned tasks to avoid the possible disruption of government services.

Also, Rama said that the filing of charges against some City Hall officials and employees will not get in the way of his administration’s efforts to adhere to the mandates of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.  These include the need to enact an ordinance that would complement the national law and the need to review and adopt the output of the city’s Waste Summit held in April 2022.


NBI-7 filed last Dec. 14 complaints for plunder, malversation of public funds, graft and corruption, and violation of the government code of conduct and ethical standards at the Office of the Ombudsman against former City Administrator and lawyer Floro Casas Jr., Department of Public Services (DPS) chief and lawyer John Jigo Dacua, and Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (Ceset) head and former Garbage Collection and Disposal in-charge Grace Luardo-Silva.

Also charged were Allen Omlero Ceballos, Inspection Officer of DPS; Romelito Asinjo Datan, City Treasurer’s Office Inspector; Mark Abarquez Ugbinar, General Services Office Inspector; and Jerome Visarra Ornopia, and Mare Vae Fernandez.

READ: 15 face charges for anomalous Cebu City Garbage Collection

Garbage Collection Deal

When Rama was acting mayor in June 2021 he suspected of a possible plunder in the garbage collection deal that DPS entered into with a private service provider.

Rama made his discovery about the same time that ARN Central Waste Management Inc. demanded payment of about P18.7 million from Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply on June 21, 2021.

ARN Central Waste Management Inc., the owner and operator of the landfill in the mountain barangay Binaliw, has refused to accept any more trash then hauled by Docast until payment for its past dues are made.  Docast hauls the city’s garbage from the temporary transfer station in Inayawan to the landfill in Barangay Binaliw.

Three days later or on June 24, residents of Barangay Inayawan started to complain of stench coming from the temporary transfer station in Barangay Inayawan.  Docast has suspended its operations for lack of a dumping site.

Rama then called for a special council session on June 26, 2021 to discuss the matter.

On July 7, 2021, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) ordered the shut down Inayawan Transfer Station citing violations of environmental laws.

Members of the previous Council started to probe the garbage collection deal after DPS in 2021 asked for the approval of a P100 million supplemental appropriation on top of the P402 million that was the allocated budget for garbage collection payments in 2021.

Luardo said during the budget hearing that the DPS was then left with only P27 million for the remaining six months of 2021.

NBI-7 Investigation

Council members also sought NBI-7’s assistance for the conduct of an independent investigation on the city’s garbage mess.

Moreover, last July 23, 2022, the Commission on Audit reported that contractors Docast and JJ&J Construction and General Supply were not qualified to haul the city’s garbage.

With the release of the audit report, Rama urged NBI-7 to hasten their investigation on the city’s garbage mess.


Rama: NBI to release probe result on anomalous garbage deal soon

Rama wants state of emergency in Inayawan after closure of transfer station


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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, City Hall employees, NBI

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