Mayor hits approval delay of Pasko sa V. Rama funds-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
CEBU City Mayor Michael yesterday cried foul over the “delay” in the approval of the release of funds for the Pasko sa V. Rama this year.
The mayor’s nephew Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. recently filed a resolution that seeks to charge P713,450 of the City Government’s share from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for the annual activity this year.
During its regular session last week, the Council referred first the resolution to the committee on budget and finance for report and recommendation.
It has been the policy of the council that all resolutions that seek to charge expenses to Pagcor funds must be referred first to the budget and finance committee headed by Councilor Margarita Osmeña.
In his regular news conference yesterday, the mayor said he doesn’t understand why the Council is delaying the matter.
He said the Pasko sa V.Rama has already been running for 17 years now and that all members of the council knows about it.
Rama then asked the Council to fast track the approval of Councilor Rama’s resolution so funds for the activity will be released.
“I’m calling on the council to please expedite it because that is not for me. It is for tourism. It’s for arts and culture. It has brought unity in the city because it created that philosophy of oneness and creativeness,” he said.
Every year starting Dec. 1, houses, trees and commercial establishments on B. Aranas St. and along V. Rama Ave. are being lighted and decorated with belens, or nativity scenes.
The area is decorated by the residents themselves through the spirit of bayanihan.
In a committee report rendered by the budget and finance committee last week, it said charges to Pagcor funds already exceeded the current balance.
Based on the utilization report submitted by the City Accounting Office, it shows that as of Aug. 30, the approved resolutions charging to Pagcor funds, some of which dates back to 2011, already reached P29.6-million.
However, the available balance of the funds from Pagcor as of Sept. 30 is only P26.9 million.
“Notwithstanding the merits and noteworthy objective of the request, fiscal prudence dictates that the City cannot spend more than its available funds,” the committee report states.
If this is the case, however, Rama said the fund for the holding of the Pasko sa V.Rama should be prioritized.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.