Robredo: financial mgt is call of LGU leadership PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:13

Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo in a press conference Monday said managing finances of local government units is the call of the LGU leadership and hinted that it is his personal view that buffer funds should be kept in the bank for unforeseen events.

Secretary Robredo emphasized this in answer to a question concerning the city government’s deposits in the bank, which is a subject of criticism from administration critics.

Palagay ko po ang finances ng isang LGU must be determined and dictated by the LGU leadership”, the secretary said stressing “kung ano yong pananaw ng pamunuan sa bagay na ito, nasa kanya na yon”.

Robredo cited two examples of managing styles, one is the conservative point of view on managing finances where the LGU leadership will properly program the funds for projects and deposit funds in the bank to avoid deficits at the end of the year; the other is the frivolous spending of the funds as they come in and later suffer from deficits due to delayed Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and shortfall in local collections.

“Noong ako po’y mayor don sa amin probably this is more personal than my position sa DILG, palagi ho akong may buffer na pera sa bangko, kasi nga ho hindi malaman na  may kalamidad, sabi nga nila mas mabuti na yong mayron kang natabi kaysa hihiram ka dahil nagkulang”, Sec. Robredo, who was former mayor of Naga City said.

According to Robredo, at present there are LGUs borrowing money to pay for maintenance and other operating expenses or MOOE due to shortfall in local collection. “And you should not borrow for MOOE, you should only borrow for capital outlay. Kaya kung ang tanong, mayron bang tamang pananaw sa bagay na ito, palagay ko depende kung sino at kung ano yong pananaw ng pamunuan.”

Due to fiscal management, the city government under the leadership of Mayor Celso Lobregat has been able to implement millions worth of projects and other programs without borrowing a single centavo from any financial institution and still have sizeable finances all appropriated for projects deposited in the bank.

Mayor Lobregat, who was present during the press conference, reiterated that the money that is in the bank is earmarked for projects, one of which is the sanitary landfill system, the integrated bus terminal and numerous others.

“My question really is where would  you want that money to be—in the bank or in the pocket of the mayor?”, he asked. “I personally do not believe in borrowing money and leaving the next mayor with debts to pay and that is normally the accusation of many mayors when they leave office, the city is bankrupt, at least when I finish my third term, the next mayor is assured that he does not have to pay a single centavo to any financial institution”.

He stressed that the city government has many projects. In his first term in office, Lobregat fixed the city’s finances and implementation of projects started in the second term. “I said so much has been done, so much more has been done –last year i said the best is yet to come—the best is already here and more is coming”.

Secretary Robredo stopped over Zamboanga Monday afternoon, after leading the groundbreaking rites for various projects in Al Barka, Basilan. — Sheila Covarrubias