‘ET AL YOU CAN’ salaries for projects – illegal

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By Dr. Bob Ocio

Isyo ug Servicio

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


DUNAY mga documento nga nagpakita sa certification of employees and respective salaries thereof which are charged to the 20 percent development fund. Legal ba kini? Tinuod ba nga mao kini ang actual nila nga trabaho?

First Question: Can the local government use the 20 percent development fund to pay for salaries of Employees? The answer is NO under the joint Departmen of Interior of Local Government (DILG) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Memorandum Circular 2011-1 issued to local government executives. Part reads, “Local Government Units (LGUs) cannot also use the fund to PAY FOR SALARIES, travelling expenses, seminar and conference fees, construction and repair of administrative offices, purchase of office furniture and equipment and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles.”

Ikaduhang Pangutana: Ngano man nga monitoring ug profiling man ang mga trabaho sa mga abogado dinhi? Cases at this time has not even been filed against reported irregularities by the COA but which are not limited to the Sendong funds and the COWD. Aren't these the job of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the case of social profiling and the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) in cases of ecological monitoring and are therefore redundant?

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Third question: Is the City even prepared to produce the Annual Investment Plan which includes these appointments? I doubt it.

Fourth Question: What kind of projects and programs are funded related to these appointments? That will be very difficult to answer because honestly, I suspect that many of these projects are nonexistent or unrelated to the actual jobs of the employees mentioned. Already one of the lawyers mentioned act as the City Legal Officer. So, how can a legal counsel of the city handle monitoring activities for the projects?

Take it from me, most of these are simply political appointments or unrelated to the 20% development funds under the IRA therein mentioned.

This is the full text of the reported guidelines and judge for yourself:

"The DILG and DBM on Friday issued new guidelines to LGUs on the use of their 20 percent Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for development projects. The use of 20 percent IRA can cover disaster-related projects.

In a Joint DILG-DBM Memorandum Circular 2011-1 issued to all governors, city and municipal mayors, Sanggunians, punong barangays, and other concerned officials, then the late Secretary Jesse Robredo of DILG and current DBM Secretary, Florencio Abad enumerated the projects covered by the 20 percent development fund which now include projects to address and respond to natural and man-made disasters and calamities.

“We saw the need to appropriate funds not just for social, economic and environment development but also for those that will help LGUs prepare and respond during disasters and calamities,” said Robredo.

Under the guidelines, the 20 percent IRA can now be used for the construction or rehabilitation of evacuation centers; purchase or repair of area-wide calamity related alarm or warning system; purchase or repair of appropriate calamity-related rescue operations equipment such as inflatable boats, breathing apparatus, extraction tools, fire extinguishers, chainsaws, 2-way handheld radios and the like.

Under the guidelines, the 20 percent IRA can now be used for the construction or rehabilitation of evacuation centers; purchase or repair of area-wide calamity related alarm or warning system; purchase or repair of appropriate calamity-related rescue operations equipment such as inflatable boats, breathing apparatus, extraction tools, fire extinguishers, chainsaws, 2-way handheld radios and the like.

LGUs can also use the fund for the purchase and development of land for relocation of victims of calamities; reforestation and urban greening; implementation of flood and erosion control projects; and other environmental projects.

Robredo said the new guidelines clearly enumerated the priority projects that can be funded by the 20 percent IRA to ensure transparency and accountability of LGUs in undertaking development projects.

Other projects include the construction and rehabilitation of health centers, rural health units or hospitals, and purchase of medical equipment; construction or rehabilitation of local government-owned potable water supply system; construction or rehabilitation of communal irrigation or water impounding system and purchase of post harvest facilities; construction and rehabilitation of local roads or bridges, multi-purpose hall; and capital expenditures for economic development projects, among others.

On the other hand, the DILG Secretary said that items not covered should not be paid out of the 20 percent IRA are ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES such as cash gifts, bonuses, medical assistance, food allowance, uniform, meetings, supplies, communication, water and light, petroleum products, and the like.

“LGUs cannot also use the fund to pay for SALARIES, travelling expenses, seminar and conference fees, construction and repair of administrative offices, purchase of office furniture and equipment and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles,” he said.

“Every local chief executive (LCE) should ensure that the fund is optimally used for development purposes,” he said, as he warned LCEs of administrative sanctions for the misuse of the 20 percent IRA beyond those prescribed by law under the Local Government Code and other applicable laws.

Robredo said provinces, cities and municipalities should furnish the DILG regional offices of the copies of their annual investment program containing the projects to be funded out of the 20 percent fund."

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 20, 2014.

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