Official wants council finances bared-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Councilor and vice-mayor wannabe Jimmy Lazatin reiterated Wednesday his request for the Office of the City Accountant to make public the 2012 financial statements of the fourth City Council.
During the 138th regular session of the august body, Lazatin said he has officially verbalized his request for the disclosure late December last year, which was acted upon by City Council secretary Lynn Lagman in a letter to city accountant Gisel Rivera dated January 11, 2013.
Under Republic Act 6713, the City Accountant’s Office has 15 days to respond to the request.
“It has been quite some time that my request has been made and I want to know what seems to be the problem. Those financial statements are public documents. In my nine years as a councilor, I have not been privy to our finances, which actually should be disclosed after the closing of books each year. This august body is composed of honorable legislators and I am certain you would agree with me that we have the right to know how the funds of the City Council were spent or where it was used. In any case, I am willing to wait for the 15-day response period and would seek a ‘question hour’ with the city accountant as the case may be,” said Lazatin, adding that even companies and private corporations immediately make their financial statements public for the benefit of stakeholders.
Councilor Noel Tulabut agreed with Lazatin, who noted the importance of the financial statements disclosure, saying: “I agree with my colleague that the financial status of this august body be made public as we work for the people of San Fernando. It must be so in the name of transparency and good governance.”
Councilor Lito Ocampo, for his part, opined that if the 2012 books of the city accountant have “not yet been closed,” statements ending November 2012 would suffice, to which Lazatin readily agreed.
Lazatin told Sun.Star Pampanga that there was no “politics involved” in his request.
“No politics is involved in my request. It is purely for transparency, good governance and ethical purposes. Pera ng taong-bayan ang pinag-uusapan dito and people have the right to know where their taxes went,” said Lazatin.
The city accountant was unavailable for comments at press time. (Jovi T. De Leon)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 18, 2013.