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Only Mayor can sign MOA – Pongos clarifies ESA issue

Senate President Franklin Drilon and Vice Governor Carlo Loreto led the releasing of the doves during the blessing of the repaired building of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Leyte and the relaunching of the vice-governor’s reform initiative, the paperless session system.

Senate President Franklin Drilon and Vice Governor Carlo Loreto led the releasing of the doves during the blessing of the repaired building of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Leyte and the relaunching of the vice-governor’s reform initiative, the paperless session system.

CITY COUNCILOR Bennet Pongos Jr. said that the Memorandum of Agreement to release the P 689-million Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) in a “modified scheme” has not yet been signed by Mayor Edward Codilla, contrary to the information conveyed by barangay chairman Samuel Doguiles to his constituents during their barangay assembly this Sunday, March 29.

He also clarified that the city council cannot sign MOAs, MOUs or other legal instruments. “Only the mayor can do that,” he said.

Barangay chairman Doguiles of San Antonio, in a news report submitted by EV Mail reporter Jhay Gaspar, told constituents that the ESA or “DAFAC” as some people call it, would soon be released “since the Sangguniang Panglungsod has already signed a Memorandum of Agreement last March 26” and that he personally witnessed the signing of the MOA during the session in the legislative hall.

The barangay chairman reiterated his statement in an interview with the EV Mail reporter.

However, councilor Pongos said that the city council cannot sign a MOA. The council’s role is to authorize the mayor to sign MOA’s and other legal instruments, if after thorough scrutiny, the documents are in order.

Pongos said Doguiles could be referring to the MOA that has been submitted to the council for deliberation that afternoon, certified as “urgent” by the mayor.  The councilor recalls Doguiles was present during the session, for some other matter.

“There was a MOA regarding the ESA submitted by the mayor and it was certified as urgent,” councilor Pongos clarified.

Since the matter was urgent, he said, it was immediately calendared for deliberation by councilor Vincent Rama, committee chair of social welfare and development. An urgent committee hearing is scheduled on Monday, March 30, at 9:00 AM.

Councilor Rama has also asked DSWD regional director Nestor Ramos and city social welfare Marrietta Legaspi to be present during the meeting, to finally put a closure to the matter.

To recall, Mayor Edward Codilla expressed his displeasure with Rama on radio when the councilor invited DSWD regional director Ramos to attend the session a few weeks ago, to shed light on why the ESA release is delayed. The mayor was quoted as saying that Rama was disrespectful (way respeto) when he invited Ramos without informing his office.

After that, Rama’s privilege to recommend 10 JO’s for hiring every month was reportedly withdrawn. Rama has not confirmed this, when texted for confirmation.

Under the “modified scheme”, P 10,000 will be released to those whose houses suffered partial damage from Yolanda, and P 15,700 only, instead of P 30,000, for those listed as “totally damaged.”

On the other hand, other matters discussed during the assembly at Brgy. San Antonio were the usual accomplishment reports, ongoing projects, and activities for Community Participation as appropriated in their P 1.5-million annual budget. The flood control and road concreting projects funded by the City were also presented. By Lalaine M. Jimenea with a report from Jhay Gaspar



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