By Omar Mundo
LAPULAPU CITY, Cebu — Stressing that there should never be discrimination and partisan politics in the distribution of calamity aid, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) congressional aspirant Junex Doronio on Sunday urged the city government that every family should be given P5,000 “ayuda” regardless whether they own or just renting the house or even if they are not registered voters but residents in this city that was heavily damaged by the recent supertyphoon Odette.
Doronio said several residents have expressed disappointment following reports that only those who will qualify for the assistance should come from an indigent family and owners of the houses partially or totally damaged.
“Dapat walay diskriminasyon sa panghatag ug ayuda. Mas maayo ug i-house-to-house na lang aron walay duda nga naay palakasan (There should never be discrimination in giving aid. It’s better if the distribution will be house-to-house to dispel doubts of favoritism),” Doronio said.
Many residents even bewailed that the P5,000 is not enough considering the havoc that “Odette” unleashed on this city which the tourism industry and many businesses were severely affected.
Doronio noted that the supposed P5,000 “ayuda” to be sourced from the P236-million calamity fund was stalled because Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan wanted the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to handle its distribution but the majority of the councilors loyal to the mayoralty aspirant Paz Corro-Radaza preferred that it should be coursed through the barangay captains.
Chan had vetoed the release of the calamity fund, claiming that the allocation for each of the 30 barangays is not uniform and therefore unfair.
He also pointed out that the City Council dominated by Radaza loyalists had no permission to add P66 million to the already approved P236 million financial assistance.
Radaza’s allies in the City Council increased the calamity fund to P302 million during the special session on December 28, 2021, called by Chan.
They also maintained that there is no difference between releasing the “Ayuda” through the CSWDO or the barangay captains, the majority of whom are loyal to Radaza.
Chan strongly stood pat that the CSWDO should handle the “Ayuda” distribution.
Chan’s protege and aspirant for Councilor Annabeth Cuizon heads the CSWDO.
For her part, City Accountant Helen Dungog said before barangays can get their financial assistance, 28 out of 30 barangays must submit their liquidation of the financial assistance they received from the City.
“The camps of Chan and Radaza should set aside their political differences and work together for the welfare of all Lapulapu City residents,” Doronio said. (ai/mtvn)