A barangay livestock aide (BALA) in Loboc expressed dismay over the receipt of a souvenir check of an amount that was already deposited in their accounts in 2020 while thinking that the provincial government will be giving them another honorarium for 2021.
According to BALA Jerome Nabea, he and other BALAs in Barangay Upper Bonbon received text messages on August 3, 2021 informing them of a meeting later in the day in which Governor Art Yap will personally hand out checks and financial aid.
However, Nabea noted that upon examining the check handed out by Yap, he found out that it was only a souvenir P2,400-check and had no value.
“Gi tagsa-tagsa mi og tawag gihatagan mi adtong ID namo sa bala ug kadtong sobre na dunay cheque pero after nadawat namo, na dismaya mi kay souvenir check man day, wa jamoy value. Naay gibutang sa likod na dili ni siya puydi senseyuhan kay souvenir check ra isip handumanan,” said Nabea in an interview over station dyRD on Thursday.
Over 20 other BALAs received the same souvenir check.
Nabea added that they were not told that the the checks had no value and were only commemorative prior to receiving these.
The checks were souvenirs for an amount they already received in 2020.
“Kami mga members sa BALA ga expect mi na kaning check sa year 2021 ni. Mao ng nadismaya mi,” he said.
In a press briefing on Friday, Yap admitted that the P2,400 was already deposited in the recipients’ accounts in 2020 as the BALAs’ honorarium for the year.
“Naay mga nakadawat og cash ug naay souvenir na tungod kay naay pipila ka BALA na nadawat na nila ang honorarium nila,” Yap said.
He denied allegations that he duped the BALAs.
“Akong gihatag akong assurance ug kasigurohan ninyong tanan na wa nako giilad ang mga BALAs,” Yap said.
According to Yap, the souvenir checks were intended to commemorate the government’s provision of honorarium to BALAs.
He said it was the first time that BALAs were given an honorarium as volunteers.
“For the first time in 24 years atong nahatagan og financial honorarium ang mga BALA ug daghan nila, kundili tanan ang nalipay sa aksyon gikan sa kagamhanang probinsyal,” he said.
Based on a photo first posted by Yap’s staunch critic Willy Ramasola nad has since circulated over Facebook, the checks were signed by Yap and Vice Governor Rene Relampagos.
The checks were handed out with BALA IDs which also featured photos of both government officials. (R. Tutas)