GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Garbage collection of the city government had been affected by the non-operation of trucks owned by the LGU because fuel suppliers stopped providing fuel allegedly due to overdue accounts.

Alvin Veneracion, executive assistant for Barangay Affairs at the City Mayor's Office, said they are trying to source money for fuel as funds have been depleted.

Funding allocation for fuel is normally done annually, meaning for this year, it was done by the past city administration.

According to City Budget Officer John Quimosing, none of the City Hall departments were able to foresee the huge increase in fuel prices when they prepared their budget for this year.

Quimosing, nevertheless, assured that the city still has money to pay the fuel suppliers.

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He said the dealers' sentiments are understandable, but "there is just a delay in the processing of the payments."

Quimosing explained that a bottleneck happens in the processing of payments depending on the quality of documents submitted, like the required receipts, signatures, and attachments.

Veneracion, on the other hand, said dealers stopped supplying fuel as collectibles had ballooned to millions of pesos, adding that they have yet to ascertain the exact amount.

But he assured us they will find means that services to the public will continue, especially on the use of heavy equipment in public works and garbage collection.

"The city mayor is in talks with the fuel dealers to resolve the issue," Veneracion said.

Most affected by the supply cut are trucks and equipment of the City Engineering Office and the Waste Management Office, which needs trucks for garbage collection and to operate daily its apparatus at the sanitary landfill.

Meantime, the city has sought help from villages as well as private companies that still have fuel to spare.

Waste Management Office head Ferdinand Pareja said that for days now, they are using equipment loaned to them by a mall in maintaining the landfill.

City Councilor Jose Edmar Yumang, who heads the City Council's Finance Committee, said his committee will look into the issue of whether there are still funds available for fuel, citing that the city has a budget deficit of P100 million.

The previous city administration was dragged into a controversy over unpaid debts to owners of hotels that were utilized as quarantine facilities.