Does City Hall need to give cash to fiscals, judges?
The Cebu City Council questioned a P6.3 million outlay in the city’s peace and order program earmarked for incentives, travel and training expenses of prosecutors and judges.
Councilor Margot Osmeña said City Hall should be careful about giving cross-border assistance.
“The mayor represents the executive and the fiscals, judges represent the judiciary. We have to be very careful about this. There should be no cross-border assistance even in LGUs. We’ve never had travel and training assistance to fiscals and the judiciary before,” said Osmena at the ongoing series of budget hearings.
Councilor Gerardo Carillo explained that the Public Attorneys Office has been helping the city, especially in cases involving urban poor and labor issues.
City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said P3.3 million will be for PAO’s 23 lawyers who will be receiving P12,000 a month from City Hall while training and travel expenses for fiscals and judges get P1 million and P2 million, respectively.
An increase is being sought for the city’s peace and order program from its current P106.9 million outlay to P628.8 million for next year.
The amount is needed for construction of a new Cebu City Police Office building (P50 million), improvement of fire sub-stations (P27 million), improvement of Pari-an Fire Station (P20 million), construction of a “kill house” for close quarter combat training with closed-cirtcuit television system (P45 million), renovation of firing range (P2 million), communication equipment (P4 million), firefighting equipment and accessories (P189 million), various police equipment (P28 million), and motor vehicle outlay (P108 million).
City Hall is also asking for P25 million as intelligence or confidential expenses which is P24.5 million more than this year’s half a million peso allocation. Supt. Artemio Ricabo of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) said the fund will be used for training of intelligence operatives, recruitment of intelligence agents, buy-bust operations, information gathering and surveillance, among others.
The fire department wants City Hall to double their monthly allowance from P2,000 to P4,000. From the approved P4.1 million as incentive allowance for firemen this year, they are asking for P8.2 million next year.
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