Bonuses for Cebu Capitol employees ‘out soon’-A A +A
Sunday, January 6, 2013
CEBU CITY -- Employees’ holiday bonuses and the payments for some Capitol suppliers will be released starting Monday, on orders of Acting Cebu Governor Agnes Magpale.
About P65.35 million worth of checks will be ready for pick-up at the cashier’s office, but not all suppliers and contractors can be paid just yet.
“Some will be paid on installment,” said Provincial Board (PB) Member Miguel Magpale, the acting governor’s son, who made the announcement.
Soon after she assumed office last December 19, Magpale was authorized by the PB to sign checks and other documents for Capitol transactions.
However, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has cautioned the acting governor against suggesting that the Capitol is running out of funds, because it is incorrect and taints the province’s image.
The Magpale camp has said that the Capitol has less than P100 million in its general fund and payables of over P300 million.
Governor Garcia has previously explained that the general fund was used to pay for expenses that could have been charged to the trust fund, because it takes much longer to use the trust fund.
Garcia also instructed last month that the money from the trust fund be reverted to the general fund. But then the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) left a copy of her suspension order for six months on her office door.
The Court of Appeals will hear on January 10 the governor’s petition to restrain the suspension order from Malacañang.
PB Member Magpale said Saturday the disbursement of salaries via ATM already started the other day, January 4, and some drew their salaries on Saturday.
He added that by Monday, the Capitol employees’ P30,000 bonus will be ready for disbursement via ATM.
Acting Governor Magpale issued two memos to Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre.
One authorizes the release of checks as financial assistance to the barangays and payments to small-scale suppliers. These checks add up to P15.68 million.
Of that, P11.06 million comprises financial assistance to 200 town or barangay beneficiaries. Also be released are P4.61 million worth of checks to pay suppliers.
The other memorandum circular orders the release of checks to contractors for P49.66 million worth of infrastructure projects.
PB Member Magpale explained that some of these financial assistance and payments had allocations from July to November last year, and the checks were just waiting to be distributed.
Also on Saturday, an official from another local government unit opined that local government units (LGU) are not allowed to revert or transfer the money placed in a trust fund to the general fund.
Money placed in trust funds are supposed to be used only for what it was intended, said Cebu City Acting City Treasurer Emma Villarete.
Otherwise, transactions will violate Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 and commit technical malversation of funds.
Under Section 309 of that law, “Trust funds shall only be used for the specific purpose for which it was created or for which it came into the possession of the LGU.”
Also, Section 305 of the law provides that “Trust funds in the local treasury shall not be paid out except in the fulfillment of the purpose to which the trust fund was created.”
Trust funds consist of private or public money, which has officially been given to the LGU, with the LGU acting as trustee of the fund in the fulfillment of some obligations.
Trust funds include the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of members of Congress, as well as money from the National Government that is intended for specific programs and projects.
Villarete, on Sun.Star Cebu’s request, explained that the processing of the funds under the trust fund is the same as the process for using the general fund.
But in the event that the trust fund has an unexpended balance, Villarete said it should be returned to the national treasury or to the senators or congressmen, who gave part of their PDAF.
“It cannot be reverted to the general fund,” she said.
Villarete cited as an example when the City Government was not able to use the P1.9-million financial assistance given by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in October last year for the purchase an ambulance for the Cebu City Medical Center.
The fund, she said, was not reverted to the City’s general fund but was instead returned to Trillanes.
CCMC had failed to comply with all the documentary requirements to buy an ambulance.
The money was given back to Trillanes as the allocation expired in December 2012. The senator’s office will, instead, purchase the ambulance for the City hospital. (OCP/PDF of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 06, 2013.