Ofelia, an advisor, son Regal retained

Posted on July 25, 2012

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After her exit as city treasurer last week, Ofelia Oliva is back as financial adviser of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office.

Oliva stepped down last week after months of struggle by Mayor Michael Rama to prevent the appointment of Emma Villarete as city treasurer by Finance Sec. Cesar Purisima.

Oliva’s son meanwhile has a different story.

Regal Oliva, whose appointment as acting city treasurer of Mandaue City by Mayor Jonas Cortes was questioned can stay in his post.

The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) said there is no irregularity in the designation of the younger Oliva.

Yesterday, Ofelia was called to speak before barangay officials of Cebu City’s north district about an upcoming seminar on financial management during the distribution of cash incentives at the Grand Convention Center.

She was first introduced by the facilitator as Cebu City Treasurer but later in her speech, she corrected him.
She said she is no longer as city treasurer but financial adviser of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

Rama later confirmed Oliva’s new role. He also announced Villarete as the new city treasurer.

According to Oliva, the appointment was not yet formally done since she has yet to receive a written notice from the mayor.

“It was still a verbal appointment” she said.

“I won’t need to report to the City Treasurer’s Office everyday anymore. It won’t be a regular job. I will only be attending special events like this,” she said.

She said local treasurers are employees of BLGF, and once they are placed in floating status, he or she reports directly to their central office.

“So far, I have not yet been given assignments by the BLGF,” Oliva mentioned.

Last June 26, Regional Trial Court Judge Douglas Marigomen granted the TRO, saying that Purisima’s appointment of Villarete may violate the Local Government Code.

However, he withdrew the TRO last July 13, as he found no legal impediment for Villarete to serve the position, being one of the mayor’s nominees.

In Mandaue City

In Mandaue City, Regal got a favorable ruling from the BLGF.

In March, an assistant treasurer questioned the designation of Regal as acting treasurer by Cortes.

Salvador Del Castillo, BLGF’s OIC-Executive director, in response to Jamora’s letter, said the designation of Oliva as acting city treasurer was based on the recommendation of Cortes.

Being the local chief executive, he has the authority to issue the appointment or designation of local treasurer.

Regal Oliva said he has all the qualifications for the said position. “Why question my appointment when I have none of the disqualifications?

“My appointment was based on merit and underwent the legal procedures! Why raise the issue on seniority?
“The main issue here is performance. What are decades of service to the government when you were more of a liability than an asset?,” he said. /Patricia Andrea Pateña and Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondents

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