By Elmer James Bandol
DARAGA, Albay, 12Oct2013 (BicolToday.com) – Topsy-turvy and without priority direction in running the local government have been observed Tuesday during the regular session of the Sangguniang Bayan of this premier town, following discussions presented on the floor regarding the creation of Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) which had been approved by the same body last year.
“It should be the calamity fund first must be approved so that it would be available for the Mayor to address problems in the preparation for disasters”, Civil Registrar, Manuel M. Andes, lamented following the adjournment of the session without resolving the issue whether the created DRRMO has the approval of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget & Management.
Andes, designated as Executive Officer of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, commented that since the Local Government of Daraga has reached ceiling under personnel services, the creation of new positions need approval from the CSC.
He said the need to be created is the office to be run by employees in addition to their mandated duties.
Councilor Mabel M. Tan has questioned Ordinance No. 05-2012 that creates the office of DRRMO which was approved June 7, 2012, by saying whether said position has the approval of the CSC and DBM.
Her question, however, was not directly answered by Councilor Neil M. Montallana, chair committee on budget and appropriation, who explained instead that the newly created office is an offshoot of the seminar conducted by the Albay Public Safety Management Office and, finally approved during the Executive-Legislative Agenda Conference held in Naga City.
“I do not want to answer repeated questions”,Montallana added.
Presented, during “other matters” in the session, wasTan’s observation that her reservation for the creation of the new office was not recorded in the minutes, however, it came out that she was absent together with Vice-Mayor Carlito M. Baylon during the passage of said ordinance.
Baylon, as presider, adjourned the session on motion when discussions went awry and failure to observe proper decorum.
Tan clarified that the new position should be under the Office of the Mayor not separate and distinct as department head, and the approval of the enabling law must pass the committee first according to the internal rules of procedure.
“I think the position is being tailored-fit for a certain person” she told this writer after the session adjourned at 12:00 high noon.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit (COA) has took cognizance of the various accounting and reporting deficiencies of Daraga local government in administering the fund for DRRM which affected its capacity to strengthen its system through decentralized functions.
According to COA audit for 2012, Daraga failed to submit its program plan except for the Executive Order No. 02-2012 that organizes the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Council dated Feb. 15, 2012 and Resolution No. 84-2012 adopted Nov. 6, 2012 which shows total resource fund of P15.4 million, but with a difference of more than P2.4 million.
Calamity fund appropriations showed for 2010 more than P2 million; 2011 more than P7 million million while for 2012 more than P8 million or a total of more than P17 million, thus COA mentioned “unexpended, unobligated balance” of the local government and its failure to submit monthly report by the Municipal Accountant on or before 15th day end of the month.
Mayor Gerry R. Jaucian, explained that calamity funds of prior years’ not utilized are savings “being re-programed” as preparation in case the town will experience disaster. [BicolToday.com]