‘Mike’s resignation is only way to release funds’

FOR Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Vice Mayor Michael Rama’s resignation from the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) is the only way City Hall can extend financial aid to the festival organizers.

Rama again said that he’s open to resigning as chairman of the board of SFI but he will wait until the Commission on Audit (COA) en banc convenes on Thursday to decide on Cebu City’s request for exemption from the audit rules.

“That’s up to Mike Rama. His resignation is the only way we can give financial aid to Sinulog,” the mayor told a news conference yesterday.

COA Circular 2007-001 prohibits any local government unit (LGU) from giving aid to any nongovernment organization (NGO) whose incorporator, director, organizer or officer is related to any local official involved in the approval or release of government funds.

In a phone interview, Rama said his resignation is the last resort, and he is still optimistic that COA will grant their request.

And if he resigns, SFI president Renato Osmeña will also have to resign since his son Richard is a member of the City Council, which approved the release of financial assistance to the foundation.

Sinulog Foundation Inc.(SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said he will meet today with representatives from the City Treasurer’s Office and the City Accountant’s Office to find solutions to the problem. (Read more)

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