Capitol funds ‘enough’: unit-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE Capitol has P81.651 million cash in its general fund as of Jan. 8 and expects its share of internal revenues next week, which gives it more than enough funds to keep operating.
A team from the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) also told Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale yesterday that the Province has enough in its trust fund, Special Education Fund, 20 percent Local Development Fund and its general fund for the district hospitals.
Magpale was told that the Capitol is dependent on its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to pay salaries and some other basic expenses.
When asked for her comments, suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia instead challenged Acting Governor Magpale to a one-on-one debate on fiscal matters.
“I am challenging her to a one-on-one debate, para matudluan nako siya (so I can teach her),” said Garcia.
Magpale is running for vice governor in May, while Garcia is running for the third district’s congressional seat. Until early last year, the governor’s One Cebu party was still considering Magpale as its candidate, to run with Rep. Pablo John Garcia.
Magpale decided instead to be the running mate of Hilario Davide III.
Magpale assumed as acting governor last Dec. 19, after a copy of a six-month suspension order was left on the governor’s office door by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Since then, Garcia has not gone home from her Capitol office, while Magpale has ordered a review of the Province’s finances and met with the department heads, whom she described as “cooperative”.
The Court of Appeals (CA) heard last Thursday the arguments from the Garcia camp to restrain the Office of the President from enforcing the suspension order.
Last Monday, BLGF Acting Director Herminigilda Garsula, Belinda Ormega and June Ann
Abella started their cash flow examination at the Province.
Garsula explained, in her visit to Magpale’s office, that their job was only to report the exact cash in the coffers and not to do an audit.
They only provided figures to the acting governor, without assessing if any transactions were irregular or not.
In addition to the preparation of salaries for next week, Magpale announced yesterday that she ordered the release of a check for P5.9 million to Perfect Clean, the outsourcing company that provides doctors and medical personnel to district hospitals.
“We don’t want the operation of hospitals be hampered,” said Magpale.
Capitol’s salaries are scheduled on the 15th, but the P133-million monthly IRA share, which is expected on the 12th or 13th of this month, will be deposited only on the 21st.
Still, “ok na ang sweldo nato karong 15th, secure na ta (we have enough for the salaries on the 15th),” a Capitol finance official, who requested not to be names, said.
Magpale said she had to assess what to prioritize, including the employees’ salaries, allocations for barangay health workers and tanods, and P4 million for power and water bills.
Garcia, in a separate interview, said P30 million is needed for each month’s salary of 1,300 Capitol officials and employees. She also invited Magpale to a debate.
Magpale said the Capitol is yet to pay P51 million as its capital share in its joint venture with Ayala-led Manila Water Consortium Inc., for the Cebu Bulk Water supply project.
She added that Capitol has also been billed for the 26 tourist buses, worth P85 million, that were already distributed to different towns and cities.
Magpale negotiated with suppliers yesterday and they agreed to let the Capitol pay them on a staggered basis.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2013.