P3B proposed Lapu-Lapu budget still not approved, pols resort to blame game
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Aside from prohibiting department heads to attend the session, unliquidated funds, and questionable transactions have also contributed to the delay in the approval of the P3 billion 2022 annual budget of the Lapu-Lapu City government, an opposition councilor revealed.
Councilor Flaviano “Bobit” Hiyas, chairman of the finance committee, said that this was based on the Commission on Audit (COA) report that he received in September 2021.
Hiyas said that this includes the 52,000 sacks of rice worth P138 million.
According to the COA report, the rice has no recipients, and the COA was asking for the list of residents who received them.
Aside from this, Hiyas alleged that the sacks of rice were overpriced.
“Giyagyag namo ang tanan nga among pangayoon niya (Mayor Chan), especially kadtong listahan sa mga nakadawat sa P138 million nga bugas nga niingon ang COA nga wala kunoy mga recipients,” Hiyas said.
Hiyas said that the COA report said that the city also entered into a transaction in purchasing COVID-19 related procurement worth P296 million, with no proper documentation.
The COA also noted that the city has procured food packs and non-food items related to the COVID-19 response from a furniture company, which was described by Hiyas as unusual.
In the height of COVID-19 in 2020, Hiyas said that the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) also failed to liquidate around P452,000.
For Hiyas, it is important that they would know what happened to these transactions, for public accountability and so that they would know how the city’s funds were spent before they will approve the proposed annual budget.
Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan for his part, denied that he prohibited department heads from attending the Council session.
“Ato giingnan, September pa to prepare a budget for 2022. Maghimo ta ug annual investment plan. Ang annual investment plan, kinsa ma’y mohimo ana? Ang council, ang mayor, and department heads. Gihimo na nato sud sa duha ka tuig, pero sa ikatulo nga tuig, wala na sila mo-cooperate,” Chan said.
Chan added that the opposition councilors, who hold the majority in the city’s Legislative division, are only politicizing the approval of the proposed annual budget. /rcg
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