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Umapad councilor faces charges over unpaid salaries

By: Mary Rose S. Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 30,2024 - 08:22 PM

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Barangay Hall of Umapad in Mandaue City./Contributed photo via Mary Rose Sagarino

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — Some employees of Barangay Umapad in Mandaue City, who have yet to receive their salaries for the last five months, filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas on Thursday afternoon, May 30.

The complainants, Gemma Mata Ortega, Girlie Reyes Gabisan, Lea Gabisan Jimenez, Lima Sotchesa Orogan, and Erwina Batulan Caño, filed cases against Barangay Councilor Libertine Lumapas for alleged violations of Republic Act 3019, citing grave abuse of authority and oppression.

At least 80 employees of Barangay Umapad have yet to receive their salaries for the last five months, or since January this year. These employees include barangay tanods, clean and green personnel, lupon members, drivers, and others.

Umapad Barangay Captain Reb Cortes said the payroll for these salaries could not be processed because it has yet to be signed by Lumapas, who chairs the Committee on Appropriations.

Cortes explained that the barangay is currently operating under a reenacted budget from 2023 after the proposed budget for 2024 was not approved by the opposition-dominated barangay council. He added that according to his inquiry with Atty. Giovanni Tianero, the city’s budget officer, the honoraria can indeed be disbursed by the barangay under a reenacted budget. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also gave the same opinion.

Barangay Councilor Lumapas has yet to respond to CDN Digital’s messages and calls for her reaction to the cases filed against her. However, in a previous message sent to CDN Digital, she stated that she did not sign the payroll because of alleged irregularities in the barangay’s payroll.

Lumapas asserted that her actions as Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations are in accordance with the law.

Cortes believes that the ‘irregularities’ Lumapas refers to are the documents she demanded, such as the Daily Time Record, Oath of Office, and Concurrence of Appointment by the majority of the Sangguniang Barangay.

Cortes noted that most of the workers are job order employees and not elected officials, thus they do not require an Oath of Office. Furthermore, he believes that Concurrence of Appointment is only necessary for the Barangay Treasurer and Secretary.

Only two of the eight elected barangay councilors are allied with Cortes. He said that they have repeatedly asked Lumapas to sign the payroll, but she refuses.

Cortes also admitted that one of the unpaid workers is his ally who lost in the last Barangay Elections.

He claimed that the opposition councilors recommended 48 individuals for employment, but he only hired 20 because there are already existing workers employed.

“Naa namay existing gud nga mga trabahante,” said Cortes.

With the cases filed at the Office of the Ombudsman by his employees, Cortes hopes for positive results and that the employees will receive their salaries soon.

“Wala gyuy lain gipangayo ni’ng mga trabahante kundi justice sa ilang kaugalingun nga masweldoan sila. Nanghinaot nga mahatagan ni og kasulbaran ni’ng tanan’g problema, dili lang sa mga trabahante kundi tibuok Barangay ang nasacrifice,” said Cortes.

He also asked the opposition councilors to work together for the betterment of the barangay.

“Ako lang hangyo nila dili lang kaayo ta mofocus og politics. Focus ta sa serbisyo, magtinabangay, magkahiusa para sa kalamboan sa atoang barangay, purpose nga nahimo tang public official servant di ba?” he added.

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TAGS: Barangay Umapad, unpaid salaries

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