City Council: How was P2.9B COVID-19 aid used?
Cebu City government asked to give a breakdown of expenses taken from P2.9B COVID assistance
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council wants to know how the P2.9 billion supplemental budget for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) aid has been used.
This developed after the council approved the resolution of Councilor Alvin Dizon to request for the breakdown of the expenses and procurements done using the P1 billion budget released on March 2020 and the other P1.9 billion released on June 2020.
“Massive fiscal spending has been undertaken by the city government including the purchase of relief goods, PPE (personal protective equipment), COVID-19 testing kits, financial assistance to barangays, the establishment of isolation facilities, among others. Now, ensuring fiscal transparency and public accountability are crucial and should be faithfully observed and upheld especially in emergency situations,” said Dizon.
The city council wants to be apprised about how the budget was used because the executive department failed to present this to the council last June 2020, when they first asked about the breakdown prior to approving the P1.9 billion supplemental budget.
The majority bloc of the city council approved the P1.9 budget despite appeals of the minority bloc that the expense report of the previously released P1 billion should be presented first.
The majority bloc decided that the P1.9 billion was urgent and passed the supplemental budget.
This time, the entire council agreed it was time for the expenses to be presented to the public. The city council passed the resolution on August 5, 2020
“Comprehensive and transparent reporting mechanisms have to be put in place so that oversight by civil society organizations and the public at large can be exercised for it is the primordial responsibility of the government to give full accounting of how public funds are being spent in the coronavirus response,” said Dizon.
The council has request the Office of Mayor to render a detailed and itemized expenditure breakdown of the P2.9 billion COVID-19 fund meant to contain and address the coronavirus pandemic and to publish this on the city government’s websites and social media pages. /dbs
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