Rojas scores Kalaw’s appointment as finance committee head

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Monday, June 2, 2014


BACOLOD City Councilor Roberto Rojas hit the assignment of Councilor Claudio “Kalaw” Puentevella’s as chairman of the City Council finance committee, saying the city’s financial affairs are now in the hands of the father-and-son tandem of Mayor Monico Puentevella and his councilor-son.

In a statement, Rojas said the younger Puentevella is expected to approve and disapprove, support or reject, funding for the city’s projects and activities and other financial matters.

Rojas is Puentevella’s predecessor as finance committee chair.

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“So now we have a set-up where the father proposes and the son disposes,” Rojas said, adding that the “mayor proposes how to spend the money of the city and his son approves or sponsors its approval in the City Council.”

Councilor Puentevella was named finance committee chair during the Council reorganization last week, with the mayor’s allies now in the majority.

“This further means that we have effectively given up the built-in ‘checks and balances’ in our system and left financial matters for a father and his son to discuss,” Rojas added.

Although he admitted that set-up is not illegal, Rojas said, it is still dangerous.

“For the first time in our history, we can say Bacolod’s financial affairs have become an issue to be discussed on one family’s dining table,” he added.

Rojas said he has no quarrel with the reorganization because it is for the majority to do what they think is best.

However, he had thought that the majority would choose somebody more senior in their ranks to handle finance, he added, not somebody like Councilor Puentevella who is a neophyte and a son of the mayor.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 02, 2014.

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