Social welfare organizations

GenSan city council rejects appointment of welfare officer

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / January 5) – The city council on Wednesday rejected the appointment of the wife of an official of a foundation linked to the family of the city mayor Ronnel Rivera as head of the municipal protection office Social and Development (CSWDO).

General Santos Town Hall. Mindanews archive photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

With seven members on official leave, councilors voted 5-2 in a special session to reject an urgent resolution calling for approval of Genelene Vidanes’ appointment as Head of Department II.

He proceeded to the vote before noon after several breaks and at least seven roll calls mainly due to the lack of a quorum, which also resulted in the adjournment of the first extraordinary session on Tuesday.

Deputy Mayor Loreto Acharon said they proceeded to the vote although they barely obtained a quorum, as it is their duty and the matter is “of public interest”.

He said the mayor requested council’s agreement to appoint Vidanes, in accordance with article 454 of the local government code in a letter dated December 21, 2021.

“We need to act now or the matter is deemed approved,” he said, noting that the 15-day period allotted for the board to act on the nomination ends Wednesday.

Vidanes, a licensed social worker who previously worked for the Provincial Office of Social Welfare and Development in southern Cotabato, was appointed by Mayor Rivera last month as head of the CSWDO, a move many oppose. managers and employees of the department.

On December 27, the city council received a petition against her appointment from the deputy head of Department II of the CSWDO, Edelina Salazar.

During a brief questioning in plenary, opposition councilor Franklin Gacal Jr. spoke of Vidanes’ connections to the city’s mayor as the appointing authority.

Vidanes has confirmed that her husband Ryan is the executive director of the RD Foundation Inc., which is operated by the Rivera family.

Gacal then noted that the personal data sheet or PDS sent by Vidanes was not duly notarized.

“With that, I think you are not qualified,” he said without elaborating.

Councilor Rosalita Nuñez, an ally of Mayor Rivera and one of the two councilors who supported the resolution, said she supports the nomination of Vidanes because she is qualified for the post regardless of her husband’s ties to the foundation of the Rivera family.

Nuñez said she had done her “own research” on Vidanes and believed it was needed to establish a new brand of leadership “in this stagnant organization.”

“You have to instill new ideas, new attitudes and motivation into the organization. We need someone like her to stabilize the organization, ”she said, explaining her vote.

She dismissed concerns that Vidanes was not coming out of the ranks of the CSWDO and said the petition filed by Salazar had no bearing since the latter was not a candidate for the post.

Nuñez said the city council administrative block had the numbers once they were all present and could potentially approve the nomination of Vidanes at the next regular session on January 22.

“We lost today but I will ask the mayor to renew [Vidanes] because I believe in her, ”she said. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)