Senior Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad in yesterday’s session of the Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan shot down the P530,0000-worth budget measure for various expenditure items for the provincial rehabilitation center of drug dependents, saying for umpteenth times that the budget has “created doubts”.
Lagunzad was following up the queries of Boardmember Ely Dacalus who interpellated the budget proponent Ms. Gabriela Logronio, executive director the Luntiang Paraiso Rehabilitation Center (LPRC)
LPRC is a rehabilitation facility of the provincial government that has been chosen by the Dangerous Drugs Board as a regional rehabilitation center of drug dependents. It is located in New Corella town.
After Dacalus had his several short queries answered by Logronio, Boardmember Lagunzad stood up, opined and commented on the Luntiang Paraiso measure, eating up a length of time in yesterday’s session that tackled more on piecemeal budgets of the Capitol and several municipalities in the province.
“It appears that the amount you are asking will create some doubts and suspicion,” said Lagunzad, further asking why the P110,000 budget for water bill for March to December 2008, is greater than the P50,000 water bill budget that intends to pay for the November and December 2008.
“I will never approve this and want to be clarified on the expenses you incurred,” he added. “Let us put things in proper order.”
Logronio explained that she only requested a budget for the rehabilitation center to Governor Rodolfo del Rosario through the provincial administrator Rufo Peligro.
She said that the items questioned are only estimates citing that the monthly electric and water bills of the center run to about P7,000 and P10,500, respectively.
As to the P20,000 drinking bill, she added that the center is getting potable water from Dumoy at the price of P18 per gallon with the present number of dependent drinking 6 to 7 galloons per day.
It was also known that the measure has a P100,000 budget item for the yearly Anti-Drug Abuse Week celebration this month.
Further squeezed on, Logronio, obviously already in drawn-out voice, said that the center has already borrowed an amount from the governor’s office to pay its electric bill.
However, Boardmember Jane Gavina, the finance committee chairperson, wanted her colleagues to proceed approving the measure with the budget on a paid item treated as trust fund for the center, which she said could not anyway be used by the center without the SP approval.
But Lagunzad criticized the way the measure wanted to be approved in toto, saying that “it is not good accounting” to approve loose and unspecific budgets. “What is P200,000 should be P200,000 and not P500,000… I don’t want to set a precedent with this,” he added.
Boardmember Gregorio Facula tried to come into rescue of Logronio saying that the center’s payment to its electric bill through the a “borrowing” from the governor’s office should have allotment and budget and supporting documents as government accounting so requires and should be legal.
The Luntian budget in the provincial appropriation ordinance number 2008-005 was though not subjected to a third and final reading yesterday. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com