Orendain clarifies scope of mayor’s blanket authority PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 October 2010 14:20

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. yesterday sought to clarify issues concerning the span of the blanket authority granted to Mayor Celso Lobregat by the august body to forestall misinformation and confusion.

Contrary to published reports, Orendain said the blanket authority allows Mayor Lobregat to implement projects only after the conduct of the bidding process and not to enter into a private contract even without bidding.

Under the regular process, all award contracts for projects that underwent through the bidding process conducted by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) are submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) for the grant of individual authority for the mayor to sign the same. With the blanket authority, however, the chief executive can sign the contract and implement the projects after the BAC has completed the bidding process.

“With the blanket authority, the contract will no longer go back to the SP for confirmation”, the city administrator said reiterating that the contract can right away be signed by the mayor after all the bidding procedures shall have been complied with.

“It is incorrect to say that the blanket authority allows the mayor to enter into a private contract even without the bidding process”, Orendain said citing published reports.

He stressed that eliminating the process of a contract returning to the SP for confirmation after the BAC has undertaken the bidding procedures forms part of the anti-red tape scheme which is primarily aimed to hasten government transactions and stump graft and corruption in the bureaucracy.

The Anti-Red Tape Act 2007 or RA 9465 seeks among others to lessen signatories during the procurement process and facilitate implementation of projects and programs. It likewise helps ensure above board procurements and biddings.

Orendain said a similar scheme is devised to hasten the delivery of basic social services such as the grant of medical assistance to indigents. Under the law, the final signatory for the medical slip is the chief executive but the city devised a way to accelerate the release of the medicines by designating substitute signatories, in this case, if the mayor is out of the office, the city administrator can sign on his behalf or in the absence of the city administrator, the chief executive assistant.

The local government under the Lobregat administration advocates the promotion of good local governance through clear, transparent, accountable and responsive public service delivery, as espoused by RA 9485. It is the city’s very first mission under the City Development Strategy: “to improve the quality of life of our citizenry through sound local governance that delivers efficient and effective basic services and provides the necessary infrastructure”.

Zamboanga has been chosen by the Civil Service Commission as model in Zamboanga Peninsula for the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) campaign dubbed as Project CURE (Comprehensive and Unified Response to Eliminate Red Tape) in local government units. It was one of the first LGUs that established the Citizens’ Charter, a mechanism that gives teeth to efforts to stamp out inefficiency and promote better accountability.

The city’s selection as ARTA model is grounded by the highly commendable administrative and personnel management and practices in the city government under the present leadership.

By Sheila Covarrubias