Capitol board puts off P2M trip to USA-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
MEMBERS of the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) will no longer fly to New York at the provincial taxpayers’ expense to attend a study tour on drug rehabilitation.
One will proceed, but will pay for expenses using personal funds, said Gov. Hilario Davide III.
Ten PB members were supposed to attend a study tour on drug rehabilitation on Nov. 10 to 16 in New York, USA. That would have cost the Province some P2 million.
But in a privilege speech yesterday, PB Member Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero said there is a minimum of 15 members for groups that want the program to be customized to fit their needs.
She gave the speech to clarify the issues recently raised in connection with the planned trip.
It was also Zaballero who drafted the resolution that the PB earlier passed, encouraging the officials to join the study tour.
“Just like every seminar, there is a minimum number required for a customized training to be conducted. This particular training requires at least 15 people of the same group,” Zaballero said. She said it would be ideal for the seminar group to be from the same country, since the laws vary from one country to another.
The 10 who were earlier identified as joining the trip to New York were PB Members Julian Daan, Raul Alcoseba, Peter John Calderon, Joven Mondigo, Sun Shimura, Miguel Magpale, Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Arleigh Jay Sitoy, Wilyamie Caminero and Zaballero.
Zaballero said yesterday that only six confirmed they would join under the original plan.
Governor Davide, however, said that only Sitoy will pursue the trip at his own expense.
Davide attended the PB caucus at noon yesterday, where he found out that the legislators will no longer travel to New York.
Sitoy, he said, will observe how rehabilitation centers are run in New York, upon the invitation of Frederick Loke, assistant vice president of Daytop International Inc.
Daytop has been contracted by the US State Department to provide international training and consultation on the treatment, approaches and best practices in the management of rehabilitation, Loke said in his invitation.
According to an earlier report, the Province would have had to spend P200,000 for each PB member to join the seminar. That would have included the seminar fee of US$1,500 and a round-trip ticket.
In the 2013 annual budget, each PB member has a budget for local travel, foreign and training expenses. Each PB member, Zaballero said, has a budget of P225,000.
She said it would be better if that budget is used since the year is about to end.
“The cancellation of the trip may be considered a temporary setback as this does not mean that the PB will stop looking for means to pursue this endeavor,” Sanchez said, referring to the plan to observe community-based treatment in alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation programs.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.