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Mandaue City to help embattled workers of Barangay Umapad

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 31,2024 - 09:01 PM

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

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — The Mandaue City Government is set to provide assistance to Barangay Umapad and its affected workers who have yet to receive their salaries for the last five months.

Mayor Jonas Cortes on Friday, May 31, said that he has already directed the City Social Welfare and Services to distribute rice to the workers.

Cortes said they are also considering providing financial assistance, but he cannot determine the amount yet.

There are now over 100 employees, including barangay tanods, clean and green personnel, lupon members, and drivers, among others, who have yet to receive their salaries for the last five months, or since January this year.

The employees said they have been borrowing money to sustain their daily needs.

Allegedly, Barangay Councilor Libertine Lumapas, the Chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations, did not sign their payroll, which is why their salaries could not be processed.

Cortes said that the city has been trying to help, such as by inquiring at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), but he does not know why the payroll has still not been signed.

“Ang atoa nalang gyud pangitaan og paagi ang paghatag og alibyo sa problema sa atoang mga empleyado sa barangay. Maluoy sad ta,” said Cortes.

On Thursday, May 30, some of the employees, namely Gemma Mata Ortega, Girlie Reyes Gabisan, Lea Gabisan Jimenez, Lima Sotchesa Orogan, and Erwina Batulan Caño, filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas against Lumapas for alleged violations of Republic Act 3019, Grave Abuse of Authority, and Oppression.

Barangay Captain Reb Cortes said the barangay is currently operating using a reenacted budget, or their 2023 allocation, after the proposed budget for 2024 was not approved by members of their opposition-dominated barangay council.

However, he said that the employees’ salaries can indeed be disbursed based on his inquiry with the City Budget Office and DILG.

Barangay Councilor Lumapas, in her message sent to CDNDigital on Thursday night, did not directly react to the cases filed against her.

However, she said she did not sign the payroll because there were alleged irregularities in the village chief’s appointment of the workers and delays in their compliance with the requirements mandated by the Commission on Audit.

“While it is my passion to help the residents of Barangay Umapad, it is essential that all actions remain within legal rules,” said Lumapas.

Lumapas said she is confident that her actions taken as the Chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations are in accordance with the law.

“We have also initiated necessary legal action against the Punong Barangay and Treasurer in relation to the issue. I will also provide my further comments on this issue in the proper forum,” she added.

Captain Cortes believes that the ‘irregularities’ she’s claiming are the documents she demands, such as the Daily Time Record, Oaths of Office, and Concurrence of the Appointment by the majority of the Sangguniang Barangay.

The barangay captain said that the majority of the workers were job order employees and that they are not elected officials who would need an Oath of Office. Moreover, for the Concurrence of Appointment, he believes that it would only be needed for the Barangay Treasurer and Secretary.

Only two of the eight elected barangay councilors are allied with Captain Cortes.

This is also why there were no projects and services that could be implemented in the barangay because this year’s allocation was not approved by the council, said Captain Cortes.

“Sige nalang ko og request sa city ni Mayor, sama sa ligid sa truck dili man sad irisgo atoang trabahante paglabay sa basura, nihangyo intawn ko kay wala tay makuhang pundo sa barangay bisan naay pundo dili mahilabtan kay wala tay approval sa (barangay) council,” said Captain Cortes on Friday.

Mayor Cortes said that the city has been extending help, such as providing fuel to the barangay’s garbage truck, among others.

The mayor hopes that the problem in the barangay will be solved and that officials will work together to provide services to the residents.

“Unta as public servants nga atoa sad tan-awon how can they be effective leaders og atoang mga kauban’g empleyado sa barangay nga walay sweldo, atoang empleyado naay pamilya. I believe naa gyuy kasulbaran ang tanan,” said Mayor Cortes.

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TAGS: Barangay Umapad, Mandaue City, unpaid salaries

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