PB disallows Danao LGU from using balance of P30-M aid for other projects-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) adopted last Monday a resolution disallowing the realignment of the P30-million Capitol aid intended for the rehabilitation of the water pipeline in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City.
The resolution supports Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale’s Feb. 14, 2013 memorandum directing Danao City Mayor Ramon “Boy” Durano Jr. and other city officials to stop using or disbursing the balance of the financial assistance.
The resolution alleged that Mayor Durano disbursed about P2 million of the assistance for job-order employees whose wages were not included in the approved 2013 annual budget of Danao City.
The resolution said that since the financial assistance, which was released on March 9, 2010 by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, was charged to the Capitol’s trust fund, it cannot be used for other projects without approval of the PB.
But Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, third district) questioned the need for PB approval.
“Where does it say that realignment needs PB approval? Those funds are already with Danao City. If Danao wants to realign and the governor approves, no need for PB approval,” Pablo John said in a text message.
“In an undated document entitled ‘Project Justification,’ suspended Gov.Gwendolyn F. Garcia appeared to have approved the realignment” of P15 million out of the P30-million assistance to other projects, the PB resolution read.
The resolution was not clear if the document was issued by Governor Garcia during her six-month suspension, which began on Dec. 19.
The PB said the financial aid was reportedly charged to Capitol’s trust fund. Quoting a Nov. 9, 2012 opinion of Commission on Audit (COA) 7 Director Sabiniano Cabatuan, the PB said it is illegal and improper to realign financial assistance in the nature of a trust fund.
“We respect the opinion of COA. But COA has been wrong a number of times as numerous Supreme Court cases have shown,” Congressman Garcia said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.
Capitol, under the administration of Governor Garcia, approved the P30-million financial assistance in response to an Oct. 26, 2009 resolution of the Danao City Council.
The full amount was released to Danao on March 9, 2010.
But the COA reported in 2011 that the pipeline rehabilitation project was not implemented, the PB resolution read.
The resolution’s author PB Member Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca, daughter of Danao Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, told the PB that on July 6, 2012 Mayor Durano requested for the realignment of the P30 million.
In last Monday’s session, PB Member Wilfredo Caminero realignment of funds should go through the correct process.
PB Member Sun Shimura, on the other hand, proposed to have the Office of the Ombudsman decide if the realignment was legal or not.
The personalities involved in the issue belong to opposing political parties.
The resolution was filed by PB Members Meca, Jude Thaddeus Durano Sybico and Peter John Durano Calderon, who are allied with Bakud and the Liberal Party (LP). Mayor Durano, on the other hand, is allied with One Cebu, who is led by Governor Garcia.
Mayor Durano and his brother Vice Mayor Nito, head of Bakud, have been at odds after the 2010 elections.
Congressman Garcia is One Cebu’s gubernatorial candidate in the May elections and will be running against LP’s Hilario Davide III. Davide’s running mate is Magpale, who is a member of Bakud, while Congressman Garcia’s is Ramon “Buboy” Durano IV.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2013.