P900M in payables-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
CEBU Province has payables totaling P900.97 million, of which about P480.8 million went to road projects.
This was revealed yesterday by Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, who said the Capitol’s general fund as of Jan. 8 was only P81 million, as assessed by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF).
“The treasurer certified that there were funds available, which is why these projects were bidded,” said Magpale.
Magpale earlier asked the BLGF to replace Salubre for lack of trust.
Acting Provincial Treasurer Manny Guial said that it is possible that there were enough funds when a certification was issued.
Suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the projects are implemented in stages and payments are made upon their completion.
“In the past eight years, for infrastructure, we probably spent P6 billion already but we did not pay that in one day,” she said.
Provincial Board (PB) Member Peter John Calderon, head of the committee on budget and appropriation, said funds should already be allotted so that when a project is completed, the contractor gets paid.
He said P618 million had been placed under the development fund for 2012, but when they checked the bank recently, the balance was less than P5 million.
Among Capitol’s P900.97-million payables is the Provincial Government’s P51-million counterpart investment in the Cebu Bulk Water Supply Project; building projects totaling P92.4 million; and P85 million in construction equipment.
Garcia said the statements of Magpale’s camp are meant to discredit her administration. She issued another challenge to Magpale for a debate on local finance management.
“Here we go again. I will again issue the challenge for a one-on-one debate with (Magpale) who will again expose her elementary knowledge of the fiscal position of the Province,” Garcia said in a separate interview.
Magpale declined, saying she has many things to do.
Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, Magpale’s ally in the Liberal Party, challenged Garcia instead to explain how the payables will be paid.
Capitol’s budget for 2012 was P3.6 billion. Of that amount, P776 million was set aside for the Annual Investment Plan, which includes infrastructure projects and other priority undertakings of the Province.
Data from the Department of Budget Management (DBM) shows that Cebu Province received P1,599,765,164 in Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in 2012, which was released in monthly installments of P133,313,764.
As of yesterday, Capitol has yet to receive its IRA for January.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2013.