Kidapawan city councilor questions release of calamity fund

“We don’t give any authorization to the city mayor to use the calamity funds of the city government,” Bombeo, chair of the agriculture committee of the City Council, said.

But Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco explained the Provincial Board of North Cotabato has declared the entire province under a state of calamity.

He said that as the local chief executive there was no need for him to ask for approval of the City Council for the release of the city’s calamity fund.

He said the P3.2 million was used in the purchase of corn and palay seeds including fertilizers and pesticides for farmers affected by previous flash floods.

The mayor said 26 of 40 Barangays of Kidapawan were devastated by floods caused by heavy rains in the previous months.

“The list of the affected barangays could be obtained at the city agriculture office. There is no 'hocus-pocus' in the release of P3.2 million calamity fund,” he said.

City Agriculturist Amada Gornez supported mayor Gantuangco’s explanation. She said the agriculture office has distributed seed and fertilizer assistance since last month toaffected farmers in the 26 Barangays.

Gornez, however, was unable to provide the number of affected farmers and the amount of the corn and palay seeds, fertilizers and pesticides that had already been distributed to the beneficiaries.

But she claimed that their office was still facilitating the distribution of  assistance to the farmers.

She promised to give Bombeo a copy of the breakdown of the amount used in the purchase of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides the soonest possible time. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)