THE Pampanga Provincial Board (PB) has returned to the Bacolor municipal government an ordinance seeking to realign almost P1 million away from the scholarship fund to become additional budget for the mayor's office.
Ordinance No. 22-2018, approved by the Municipal Council of Bacolor on October 9, 2018, was placed on the agenda of the Provincial Legislative Board's regular session Friday, March 22.
The planned realignment of P979,275 is to be sourced from the scholarship program in the special purpose appropriation. The same amount is intended for the office of Bacolor Mayor Jomar Hizon. At least P500,000 is for Other Maintenance and Operating Expenses (OMOE), P200,000 for gas and P279,275 for donation.
The Provincial Legislative Board asked the Council to justify the amount and to write a new ordinance for the reversion of the amount.
Vice Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda, the Board’s presiding officer, said the Bacolor local government should be "encouraged to increase its scholarship funds, considering that it is a third class town and many youth should be given access to education."
Board Member lawyer Ananias Canlas Jr., former mayor and vice mayor of Bacolor, also expressed concern for what the Commission on Audit (COA) described as "minimal use" of Bacolor's special education fund (SEF). The local government used only 49.65 percent or P2.68 million out of the P5.3 million budget for SEF in 2017.