City officials defend P8-M aid to union

BACOLOD City – City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said there is nothing anomalous in the P8-million financial assistance to the Bacolod City Government Employees Union (BCGEU).

Leonardia stressed on Jan 12, 2018 that they are ready to answer any complaint filed against the BCGEU, particularly its three-day Year-End Assessment Activity from Dec 27 to 29, 2017.

Leonardia pointed out that it was not a Christmas party but a year-end assessment.

“We have been doing that for years,” he said.

Leonardia added that based on information he received, the previous administration spent about P5.6 million for the year-end activity and that was only for one day.

He further pointed out that “P8 million for three days is even cheaper than P5.6 million for just one day.”

“One thing’s for sure, the one they held went to the benefit of all employees.”

Familiaran said “this went through the process and the amount will be liquidated by the BCGEU.”

Earlier, the SangguniangPanlungsod approved a resolution enjoining the BCGEU to submit a detailed report on the financial assistance and the outcome and the accomplishment of its year-end assessment activity

Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. authored the resolution.

Councilor Em Ang proposed an amendment to the resolution by asking the BCGEU to furnish the SP a copy of the liquidation report which is also required by the Commission on Audit to avoid impressions that they are encroaching into the audit agency’s work.

“After receiving a copy of the report, and if they find anything questionable in it, that would be the proper time to take action on the matter,” Ang said.

Gamboa said they are not duplicating the functions of COA but they should be provided a copy of the report so they will be accordingly guided.

We are also members of the BCGEU and I find no malice in requesting to be provided a copy of the report,” Gamboa stressed.

Councilor Caesar Distrito recalled that in 2014, former Mayor Monico Puentevella allotted P5.6 million for the job order casuals and employees represented by the BCGEU.

He noted that the funds remain unliquidated until now.

Task Force Kasanag, a civil society group against graft and corruption, has also asked earlier the Office of the President to investigate the issue.

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