VICE Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. presented yesterday the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) that several contracts entered into by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia totaling P102.1 million were not supported with a Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) resolution, as required under Section 22 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code.

“It is very clear in the law that the governor is required to secure a SP resolution before entering into a contract, especially that P102.1 million is a huge amount of public funds.

But Garcia did not secure any, as per audit observation,” Sanchez said.

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A Capitol official, however, said a COA observation does not mean there is a violation of the law. There might be some errors that can be corrected.

Sanchez made a research of Garcia’s transactions a day after the governor criticized him for urging her to liquidate her foreign travels and explained to the taxpayers about the results of her trips.

Encoding

The governor said Sanchez can go to COA, which is regularly examining all Capitol transactions.

According to Garcia, since Sanchez wants that all the transactions of the Provincial Government recorded on the Capitol website for transparency, she will first encode the transactions of Sanchez, including projects funded by the legislative assistance fund.

“As published in the media, Gwen said that there’s no need to access the computer because all the records can be obtained from the departments concerned. You try. I challenge you (media). Ask the contract between the Province of Cebu and Mims if they will give it. Dili oy,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the people should know what’s going on at the Capitol, especially that COA has adverse comments on financial compliance.

“Here’s one COA finding. Interest earnings of P11,550,000 from the different savings accounts of the Province as of Dec. 31, 2009 were not recorded on the books during the year, resulting to the understatement of cash in local bank currency,” Sanchez said.

Dissemination

According to Sanchez, the media has a big role to disseminate this kind of information so the people may know pending the encoding of the transactions of the Capitol on the website.

“Another COA finding revealed that cash amounting to P134 million is overstated by a total of P16 million due to the non-recording of the check disbursement already encashed in depository banks, and (there are) so many,” Sanchez said.

“It is only proper, for the sake of transparency, that biddings of Capitol projects, contracts and donations of Capitol funds to the different institutions must be encoded in the website so that everybody can see what’s the situation in the government’s operations,” Sanchez said.

The vice governor said this is the reason he wants the encoding of transactions for the sake of transparency.

But Garcia said the Capitol can have its own network, but it should link with the local government units (LGUs) for computerization to have any use at all.

“Our biggest source of revenues are the real property taxes, but it starts from the LGUs. So, the real substance of computerization should be to appreciate the position of the Provincial Government in relation to the other local government units under its supervision and control,” Garcia said.