Editorial: Saving Capitol notebooks-A A +A
Friday, March 22, 2013
IN THEIR attempt to show the public that they are trying to do what is right, the officials now running the Provincial Government may end up acting shallow. Consider the proposal to remove the cover of notebooks printed with photos of Capitol officials before these are given to their intended beneficiaries, mostly the poor students in the province.
The intention is supposedly to strictly follow Memorandum Circular 2010-101 of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which prohibits the putting of promotional signages or, in this case photos and names, on government projects and properties.
The cover of the notebooks purchased by the Province bear the images of suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia and other top Capitol officials.
Like in the “governor’s excellence” awards medals that bear the image of Garcia, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale is hesitating to distribute the notebooks supposedly in faithful adherence to the DILG memo.
Of course, Capitol officials won’t admit that the memo has not been followed strictly by many local government units aside from Cebu province. A DILG official even said that the memo is more of an advisory because it does not provide punishment for those who violate it.
Given these circumstances, there is no reason for Capitol to go ahead and waste the materials purchased just to strictly follow the memo. Removing the cover of the notebooks may solve the problem of the photos printed on them, but it would transform the materials into mere folded leafs of paper that won’t last the entire school year.
That wasn’t the intention of the purchase, worth P19.3 million.
An objective appraisal would show that while the bigger photos are those of Garcia, the cover also has pictures of other Capitol officials, including the late vice governor Gregorio Sanchez and Magpale herself when she was Provincial Board member and later vice governor. (Why she didn’t complain about the purchase earlier is a good question.)
And Garcia is no longer running for governor but for the congressional post in the third district.
To be sure, when asked to choose between wasting millions of pesos in public funds and being flexible with the rules, the DILG would favor the latter. Meaning that it’s possible it can be persuaded to allow the distribution of the notebooks to prevent wastage (discarding the notebook covers is still a waste).
Then concerned government agencies can just go after those they consider as liable for the purchase, if it was really irregular.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2013.