Council rejects proposal to bring cheque anomaly to COA Print
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 16:55

By R.G Antonet Go

The City Council rejected a proposed measure to have the alleged encashment of cheques by a City Hall employee in his name referred to the Commission on Audit (COA) for investigation.

This after an admission by Christian Olasiman, Mayor’s Executive Assistant, that he encashed sponsorship cheques under his name for the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

Ten councilors went against Councilor Rudy Lim’s proposed resolution for the COA to investigate the alleged anomaly.

These are Councilors Teodyver Arquiza, Elbert Atilano Sr., Rodolfo Bayot, Jihan Edding, Juan Climaco Elago II, Tungkuh Hanapi, Charlie Mariano, Josephine Pareja, Jimmy Villaflores and Myra Paz Abubakar.

Those who voted in favor of the resolution were Councilors Rodolfo Lim, Miguel Alavar, Marxander Jaime Cabato, Benjamin Guingona IV and Lilibeth Nuño.

Councilor Jerry Perez abstained.

The City Council however approved a resolution asking the opinion of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) if the practice is a violation of the Local Government Code.

Councilor BG Guingona believes that the act constitutes a violation of the Local Government Code since securing donations of any kind needs authority from the City Council.

Under Rule X Article 49 of the Local Government Code’s Implementing Rules and Regulations, the local chief executive may, upon authority of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, negotiate and secure financial grants or donations in kind in support of the basic services and facilities enumerated under Rule V, from local or foreign assistance agencies without the necessity of securing clearance or approval therefore from any NGA or from higher LGU.

Rule V includes events marketing and promoting the local government unit for which the donations are intended.

Olasiman admitted writing to sponsors for donations in his capacity as Zamboanga Hermosa Events Head.  This is however without any authority from the City Council.

Meanwhile, the august body also agreed to have the City Treasurer’s Office provide a list of donations including corresponding receipts for local government events since the year 2015.

During the dialogue, Romelita Candido, OIC- City Treasurer, said that any monetary sponsorship, generally when funds are intended for the LGU, should be made payable to the city government of Zamboanga.  (RGAAGo)