Cebu Provincial Board Secretary Anecita Pasaylo told auditors there was “no discussion” when the budget for calamity funds was taken up in the board’s regular session on Dec. 13, 2010.
This was her reply to the order of the Commission on Audit (COA) to submit minutes of any PB deliberation about the 5 percent lump sum calamity fund of 2011 which is P85.793 million.
State auditors are asking if there was PB approval of the release of P27.1 million donated by Cebu as aid to provinces of Albay and Ilocos Norte, cities of Cagayan de Oro, ILigan, Dumaguete and Tanjay and the town of Valencia, Negros Oriental.
In her letter to COA team leader Barbara Aloba, Pasaylo said the board approved a resolution enacting an appropriation ordinance “approving en toto the Executive Annual Budget FY 2011” where the lump sum appears.
But her office “has none of the requested documents as there was no discussion on the matter during the regular session on December 13, 2010, when said budget was taken up.”
Pasaylo attached an Aug. 15 opinion of Provincial Legal Officer Marino Martinquilla, who said that submission of the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan to the board “is of no moment”.
He said the board’s approval of the Executive Budget “operates as the required SP approval” in Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act.
Under this law, 5 percent of the local government’s revenue, formerly called calamity fund, is set aside as the PDRRM Fund. COA said approval of the board is needed to “transfer the fund to support disaster risk reduction work of other councils declared under a state of calamity.” /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent