SEVENTY-TWO kilometers of roads in Cebu could have been concreted this year had the funds downloaded to barangays been used for infrastructure projects instead of things like barangay furniture and fixtures.
Speaking to close to 2,000 village chiefs on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 during the second general assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay Cebu chapter, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia revealed that the Provincial Government released P257 million to fund requests for tents, monobloc chairs, IT equipment, furniture and fixtures for barangays from January to December 2019.
The fifth district placed the highest amount of request for funding at P99.4 million, while the sixth district had the lowest financial aid request at P12.2 million.
“There’s going to be a paradigm shift in governance. I am aware that your intentions are good, but I think you all need a reminder that these are public funds which entail accountability,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.
According to the governor, as of October 2019, around P218.4 million in financial assistance to barangays for the period covering 2015 to 2019 have remained unliquidated.
Garcia said these unliquidated amounts could have also been used for concreting 61 kilometers of provincial and barangay roads.
Starting next year, the Capitol will accept only infrastructure-related funding requests from barangays at a minimum project cost of P500,000.
Funds for small-scale needs such as furniture, fixtures and IT equipment, on the other hand, will be shouldered by the barangay.
Resolutions submitted by the barangays for funding requests will still be subject to validation.
Garcia said this will help ensure that the local assistance fund (LAF) of the Province will be used for projects that will benefit the entire community.
“We will focus funds of the Provincial Government to more important, beneficial projects and programs,” she said.
Garcia assured that the Capitol will double the P5 million LAF allocated for each Provincial Board member in 2020 so that they can shoulder infrastructure projects such as road concreting, construction of centers for basic services, and flood control programs, among others. (RTF)