Zero travel budgets for all DavNor PG departments for next year

sept 2-8, 2010

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

For the first time in the various administrations of Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, all departments of the provincial government will be having zero budget for travels next fiscal year. Instead, the budget allocations of departments will be “pooled” at the Governor’s Office, said provincial budget officer Norma Lumain in an interview with the Valley & City Chronicle.

Departments started submitting their 2011 budget proposals since last Tuesday during the start of budget hearings made by the Local Finance Committee chaired by PBO Lumain in preparation for the submission of the final executive budget of the provincial government by October 16 to the legislative department.

She said that the pooling of all travel budgets to the governor’s office is in keeping with the austerity measures of Gov. Del Rosario.

She said this would be the first time that the governor will be centralizing travel budgets at his office throughout his series and separate administrations as provincial governor.

Lumain though recalled the pooling of travel budgets at one office has a precedent during the time of Governor Prospero Amatong.

She reckoned that in the recent years the provincial government’s executive department averaged to spend a total of P5 million per year for travels alone.

This is exclusive to the separate travel expenses of the legislative departments.

She also said that although the travel budgets of departments are pooled at the governor’s office but in principle each department has its respective travel budget allocation just lodged under the control of the governor, Lumain added.

“After all, it’s the governor who has been approving travels of provincial employees since then,” she said.

The travel budget is for the per diems, transportation, registration including the travelling claims of field workers in the provincial government.

The provincial government will also be having a status quo in the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) based on the 2010 budget and hence there would be no increase of budgets for MOOE next year in all departments .

Meanwhile, provincial general services officer Sammy Sanchez, in separate interview, said that another budget consideration in pursuance of the governor’s austerity thrusts would be the provision of only one meal or one snacks per participant during official activity of any provincial government office.

This is unlike in the past, he added, where a whole-day activity availed a per capita two snacks and one meal like lunch shouldered by Capitol.

Submissions of budget proposals and budget hearings of departments will be continuing next week (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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