Rama slashes 150 BIN jobs, blames move on budget cuts
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama blamed the City Council for the non-renewal of work contracts of around 150 members of the Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN).
The anti-crime volunteeers used to assist the police force and help secure government offices.
Their honoraria, however, was affected when a P30 million outlay in the mayor’s proposed 2012 budget for the city was reduced to P10 million by the council.
“I did not fire them. The legislative department exercised its role. Now, the executive had to face the situation,” Rama said.
The BINs were hired by his predecessor, former mayor and now congressman Tomas Osmeña.
Vice Mayor Augustus Young said the mayor was using the council as an excuse when he had long wanted to fire the BINs.
Young said the BINs only received P3,000 a month, which didn’t cost the city government a lot of money.
Cebu City Police Office director Senior Supt. Melvin Buenafe said it was the mayor’s discretion to keep or let go of BINs.
But he clarified that under a memorandum from Camp Crame creating the BIN, their primary role is intelligence gathering and not to act as guards.
CCPO has renamed the volunteers to Barangay Peace-keeping Action Teams (BPATs), an auxilliary group that directly reports to the PNP.
He said qualified BIN members of City Hall may apply to become BPAT members.
The said he prefers the services of private security guards for City Hall buildings for better accountability.
“There were a lot of things lost at City Hall and we couldn’t trace who was accountable,” he said.
To address this problem, Rama made “modifications” in city hall’s security procedure.
He made blue guards primarily responsible for City Hall security./Chief of Reporters Doris Bongcac and Correspondent Chito Aragon