MISAMIS Oriental board member Frederick Khu questioned on Monday, March 18, the move of Vice Governor Joey Pelaez to augment funds amounting to P1.5 million, despite the legislative body's approved ordinance stripping him of his authority to do such.
In a notice of augmentation of appropriation dated March 12, a copy of which was furnished to SunStar Cagayan de Oro, Pelaez requested the augmentation of P750,000 each from traveling expenses and subsidy to local government unit under the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) savings and other general services.
Khu raised the matter before the plenary on Monday, when Pelaez was on official business. The session was presided by board member Vincent Pelaez.
He said the Provincial Board has already decided, by approving an ordinance last February 26, to strip Pelaez of his authority to augment funds.
“Atong February 26, nag approve naman og ordinansa ang Provincial Board nga i-remove iyang authority to augment funds pero atong March 12, nag augment na sad siya og P1.5 million,” he said.
(On February 26, the Provincial Board already approved an ordinance to remove Pelaez's authority to augment funds but on March 12, he augmented P1.5 million.)
Khu viewed Pelaez's move a disrespect to the decision of the Provincial Board.
“Unsa iyang pagtuo sa mga board member mga tawo-tawo lang kay wala niya respetara. Grabe mana ka binuang (what was he thinking to the board members? Are they just mere puppets because he did not respect us? That's foolishness),” Khu said, as he also questioned why the budget from the general services that was being augmented was easily spent as early as March.
Khu said Pelaez has augmented funds amounting to around P4 million from May to December 2018, which went to donation (P3.1 million); advertising (P300,000); repair and maintenance (P280,000); IT equipment (P5,000); general services (P821,000); and communication (P5,000).
He also said all requests have no supporting documents and without the knowledge of the board.
“This new augmentation of funds was not yet approved because I put it on-hold,” he said.
For his part, Pelaez said he can still use his authority to augment funds because there is no approved ordinance duly signed by Governor Yevgeny Emano yet.
Pelaez explained that while it is true that the board passed the said ordinance, “it has to be approved by the governor for it to take effect.”
“I still have the authority until such time that the ordinance is signed by the local chief executive. It will only take effect like all other ordinance when signed by the governor,” Pelaez said.
“Another requirement is publication or posting of ordinance. Just like a law passed by the national legislature/congress, it will only take effect upon signing of the President and publication in a newspaper of general circulation,” he added.
But, board member president Elipe said the measure passed by the legislative body is not a regulatory ordinance that would require publication in a newspaper.
“Kato nga (the said) ordinance, there is no penalty clause, it's not a regulatory ordinance that will involve other people, naa ra sa SP (it is only for the Provincial Board) so the approval of the governor would only suffice in so far as the effectivity of the ordinance,” Elipe said.