City mayor probes disaster office’s pandemic fuel consumption

 Mayor Salvador Escalante of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Mayor Salvador Escalante of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental said his office is acting on concerns regarding the fuel consumption of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) during the pandemic that amounted to more than P40 million in two years.

Escalante told reporters during the weekend that he is waiting for the audit report after concerns about the CDRRMO were brought to his attention.

The mayor said that upon initial checking, the CDRRMO’s fuel consumption is P25 million during the first year of the pandemic and P24 million in the second year.

For January 2023, the CDRRMO only consumed P500,000 worth of fuel.

“Mainly maybe because the pandemic is over,” Escalante said.

He recalled that during the pandemic, practically all vehicles of the city government were detailed to the CDRRMO being the lead agency in addressing concerns and situations during then.

“It could have been justified,” Escalante said adding that the issue could have been triggered by a change in personnel in the said office.

He pointed out that during the pandemic, city government vehicles were used daily at more than 10 trips a day to transport patients, locally stranded individuals, (LSI), and others.

There were also times when the vehicles had to go to Cebu to fetch LSIs as they are not allowed to board RORO vessels on their own.

He stressed that fuel consumption was expected to go up then because of the situation.

Escalante said that the CDRRMO deployed vehicles to help victims of Typhoon Odette in southern Negros.

He said he cannot outright say or rule out irregularities

“We are closely looking into it,” he added.

He assured that procedures were followed strictly in the City Hall’s fuel purchase.

He said they even devised a system so that the city government can reduce fuel expenses.


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