Payments for three radio broadcasts sponsored by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Panglao and carried by two radio stations in Tagbilaran City has been “stopped” after the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) belatedly discovered that “it is just a waste of funds of the local government unit”.
Resolution No. 202 series of 2015 requesting the municipal accountant “to stop the processing of any payment relating to the operation of the radio programs paid by the local government Â under the SB funds” was unanimously adopted on October 5, 2015.
Municipal Councilor Rogelin Degoma filed the resolution questioning the disbursement of payments of the assailed radio programs as “not properly stipulated on the annual budget of the municipality”.
Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero signed in behalf of the LGU radio broadcast contracts with radio stations DYRD-AM and DYTR-AM for a daily, a weekly and twice weekly programs.
NO FUNDS AVAILABLE
Degoma also deplored the practice of the Executive office of the LGU using SB funds for their radio programs as “irregular and unconscionable citing Commission on Audit Circular No. 2012-003 released on October 29, 2012.
According to Degoma, the SB program was signed by Montero instead of Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes while payment of the radio billings of her radio programs were charged to the account of the SB, according to Degoma.
The resolution requested Municipal Accountant Roque Cubar to stop the processing of any payment for LGU sponsored radio programs particularly those anchored by Danilo Reyes, Ern Pahayahay, Arthur Bagcat and Fernando Penales, all under the office of the mayor.
However, Panglao Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes was not mentioned in the resolution despite his regular appearance as co host in the SB paid radio program together with Fernando Penales, consultant for infrastructure and engineering services according to Degoma.
NO PERMIT TO BROADCAST
Committee Report No. 105 series of 2015 of the Committee on Rules, Laws and Accreditation Â recommended that the name of Fuertes who also sits as the committee chair “shall be deleted/removed from the other named individuals due to reasons that are befitting of a Vice Mayor’s privilege as member of the SB”.
“I was saddened by the fact that our presiding officer is very much aware that the SB has no funds for radio and I cannot recall that we authorized anybody to sponsor a radio program”, Degoma told theÂ ChronicleÂ “much less allowed the use of our advertising budget for radio time”.
The advertising budget of the SP, according to Degoma is exclusively for expenses incurred in the printing and publication of approved ordinances.
The committee also found that the resolution filed by Degoma “was based by documents as claimed by the proponent” and was “discussed on the matters of charges for budgetary requirements”.
Committee Vice Chairman Joseph Jasper Arcay together with committee members Briccio Velasco and Rogelin Degoma “also recommended some corrections on the contents of the Resolution justifying it’s implications in order to uphold the dignity of the SB as a whole”.
“Ang Panglao Karon”, a one hour radio program aired weekly in a local radio station provides listeners with information on the activities of the SB but has been under criticism for using public funds for alleged personal attacks against it’s critics, political opponents and fellow broadcasters.
According to Degoma the SB is paying the station P1,200 per broadcast which “is not a priority project nor necessary for the delivery of basic services for Panglao”
The source of funds intended for the payments for the radio programs came under scrutiny after Degoma found that funds for the publication of ordinances was depleted as these were used for the payment of the radio broadcasts sponsored by the SB and the executive office.
“The SB has no funds for radio and I cannot recall that we authorized anybody to sponsor a radio program”, Degoma told theÂ ChronicleÂ “much less allowed the use of our advertising budget for radio time”.
Degoma also told theÂ ChronicleÂ that the Mayor’s office has two radio programs – a daily one hour morning program “Bidlisiw sa Panglao” and “Three Cheers of Panglao”, a twice weekly 30 minute program.
The Mayor’s office is paying P1000 per broadcast for “Three Cheers of Panglao” while “Bidlisiw sa Panglao” is billed P1200 per broadcast.
Degoma claimed that these radio broadcasting contracts falls under the COA definition of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant expenditures of funds or use of property or IUEEU.Â (Chito M. Visarra)