Capitol spends big bulk of IRA on infrastructure-A A +A
Monday, September 10, 2012
THE biggest chunk of the 20 percent Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) released in the first half of this year was spent on Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE), while maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) is the second biggest, Capitol records revealed.
OIC provincial accountant Emmanuel Guial, in his report showed that Capitol used P148.427 million of its 20 percent IRA in the first half of this year.
From that amount, P123.029 million was spent on PPE, while P13.354 million was spent on maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
Under PPE are public infrastructure and reforestation projects, where some projects are still in progress, said the report.
The names of the particular infrastructure and reforestation projects were not specified in the report.
The biggest amount spent under MOOE went to subsidies and donations, amounting to P10,041,733.52.
Section 287 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160) mandates local government units (LGU) to appropriate, in its annual budget, 20 percent of its IRA for development projects.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) records revealed that Cebu Province is set to receive P1.59 billion in IRA this year, and received P799.9 million in the first half of this year.
Of that amount, 20 percent is intended for local development funded projects.
Meanwhile, lines are already drawn between the governor’s One Cebu Party and the rival Liberal Party (LP) and the release of bonuses of 1,576 Capitol employees will most likely be affected.
The Cebu Provincial Board, composed of seven PB members of the LP, four One Cebu Party members and two Alayon Party members and a non-partisan ex-officio member, with presiding officer Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who is an LP member, is set to approve or defer today Gov. Gwen Garcia’s P271.965 million proposed supplemental budget.
Magpale and PB Member Peter John Calderon are hopeful that legislators will reach a consensus in this morning’s caucus on the budget proposal, which was submitted to them last Sept 3.
Two items in the budget proposal are Capitol employees’ bonuses: P23.64 million for employees collective negotiation agreement (CNA) and P16.22 million for their
But the passage of these bonuses is being tied to another item in supplemental budget, which is the P55-million subsidy to LGUs and the P5 million donations.
Governor Garcia earlier said that those LGU’s who appreciated the earlier assistance extended by Capitol will be the priority this time in the financial assistance.
“I-specify daan ang mga LGU nga hatagan (sa subsidy) kay kanang uban tawon nagahulat (It should be specified which LGU will be given because others might wait),” PB member Wilfredo Caminero, an LP member, said.
Another LP member in the PB Arleigh Sitoy, is asking the governor to submit a separate budget proposal for bonuses, “(to) help fumigate the budgeting process from politics.”
Rep Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) urged LP members of the PB to stop politicking.
He said the vice governor and her PB allies are making the supplemental budget process difficult and have held hostage the Capitol employees’ bonus.
The governor, he said, met with One Cebu Party PB members at the Marco Polo Hotel last Friday, right after the vice governor held a special meeting with PB members that day, and discussed the supplemental budget.
“They understand the executive budget and they have no problems with it,” the congressman said. he is running for governor in 2013.
He said it’s now up to Magpale whether or not to hold the benefits, especially of Capitol employees, hostage to her politics.
“Not true,” said LP PB Member Arleigh Sitoy, suggesting that they will discuss first the bonuses so it gets approved fast, and the rest of the items in the supplemental budget will be discussed separately.
But he admitted that it might require the executive branch to submit a piecemeal supplemental budget.
Sitoy said there is a need to detail other items in the budget since it is a policy of the National Government to do away with lump sum budgeting.
PB Member Caminero said the PB is not making things complicated for the supplemental budget. He said it only wants to have specifics and a breakdown, especially on the financial assistance to LGUs.
He stressed that the PB members do not want controversy and are not opposing the proposed supplemental budget.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 10, 2012.