Liaison officers to replace Barangay Mayor’s Office
CEBU, Philippines — To coordinate with all 80 barangays in Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella is planning to hire liaison officers instead of using the Barangay Mayor’s Office (BMO).
In an interview, the mayor said these BMOs are considered scrapped since the executive order issued by former mayor Tomas Osmeña only covers his term.
“At the very outset, I’ve said that this kind of office is violative of the Local Government Code. How could it be that the barangay will be headed by a mayor? It’s a contradiction of terms,” Labella told reporters.
To recall, Osmeña’s first executive order was the creation of the BMOs that will be the one to distribute the free medicines for hypertension and diabetes, among others.
He even faced administrative charges because of the creation of the BMOs.
Former Association of Barangay Councils president and now Cebu City Councilor Phillip Zafra even passed resolution before asking the Department of the Interior and Local Government to look into the creation of the BMOs in the barangays, as these offices may have duplicated the responsibilities and duties of duly-elected barangay officials.
For his part, Labella has been vocal about his opposition of the creation of the BMOs which, for him, is a duplication of the barangays.
Unlike the BMOs, he said these liaison officers will not duplicate the functions of the barangay workers.
“The liaison will be those involved in seeing to it that concerns of the barangays are being taken care of. This liaison is under the Barangays Affairs Office,” he added.
Since they report to the city’s Barangays Affairs Office they are considered employees of the city government.
When asked about the responsibilities and duties of these officers, Labella said they will be the people who will bridge the city government and the barangays.
“But of course, we will have a liaison to hear all the complaints, concerns of the barangays. We will have the Barangay Affairs Office that will take charge of that,” he said.
Labella said he will issue an executive order for the detailed responsibilities of the liaison officers soon, stressing that he has yet to study the specific functions of these officers.
“We will just follow the rule of law. We will never go wrong,” he said, adding that unpopular decisions should still be in accordance with the law.
“There will be no distinction whether kauban or kaalyado o kaatbang. Wala may kontra, kaatbang ra sa politika,” he added. (FREEMAN)