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Sunday, September 22, 2019

‘Pork funds’ for PB members stopped

THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) members will no longer receive funds for programs and projects in their districts.

The PB has decided to place the legislative assistance fund (LAF), which was previously under the Office of the Vice Governor, with the Office of the Governor.

The move stemmed from the Commission on Audit’s (COA) findings that the giving of funds to legislators is “unconstitutional.”

“We have decided to give the budget to the governor,” said PB Member Christopher Baricuatro.

Last June 15, the state auditors, in an audit observation memorandum, asked the PB to comply with the Local Government Code.

Section 465 states that it is the responsibility of the local chief executive to implement “all approved policies, programs, projects, services and activities of the Province as approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.”

The PB members receive LAF amounting to P2.5 every year. It is used for financial assistance to other local government units, institutions and individuals.

Baricuatro admitted that the new process will cause delays in the delivery of programs and projects to the villages.

“What is important for us is that the projects for the barangays will still be given,” he said.

They also have no problem if the governor will all get the credit for the projects.

Effects

Baricuatro said those that will be affected by the new policy are the newly-elected officials, who have yet to experience the working processes in Capitol.

He advised them to make a request for their programs or projects at least three months before they need the fund.

Cebu has 1,066 barangays and all resolutions requesting for fund assistance will have to be submitted to the governor’s office.

Baricuatro said a staff from the governor’s office will be assigned to handle all the requests of the barangays.

Each PB member will also assign a personnel who will make follow-ups on the request.

Baricuatro said all cash assistance that will be released will have the concurrence of a PB member.

The beneficiaries of the aid are required to submit a fund utilization report.
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