PB member: ‘Wrong info, I have no lending business’
By Shiela Mae Butlig
and LITO RULONA
THE controversial delay in the release of the capitol workers’ mid-year bonuses took a new twist yesterday as Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano insinuated that provincial board member Jerry Khu had conflicts of interest, a matter that the legislator strongly denied.
Emano said Khu supposedly runs a lending business and has allegedly lent money to some capitol employees who used their anticipated mid-year bonuses as guarantee. The governor showed no proof to support this allegation. Khu called the allegation a “big lie,” adding that Emano has been fed with wrong information because he has no lending business.
Khu is the provincial board member who has questioned the delay in the release of the capitol workers’ bonuses before the provincial legislature. His special report on the matter prompted the provincial board to summon members of the capitol’s local finance committee so they could explain the delay.
Emano told provincial government workers during their flag-raising program that he hoped Khu was sincere in bringing the matter up before the provincial board, and that he was not motivated by his business interests.
According to Emano, some capitol workers have already “sold” their mid-year bonuses to Khu.
“Naningkamot mi nga walay ma-delay,” said Emano even as he pointed out that the capitol even upgraded the salary ranges of its “casual” and regular employees for the fourth time.
“I understand, Jerry, your obligation. I understand that you’re in the opposition. I just hope, really, that the sincerity… the intention is from the heart… (that it) was really for our employees (and) not because some are able to ‘sell’ in your gamay nga lending business,” Emano said.
Emano said he has a standing order for the provincial warden to handcuff loan sharks operating in the capitol.
“Kung madakpan, pusasa dad-on sa akong opisina,” said Emano.
Emano’s standing order has never been followed; no one has been caught until now.
For his part, Khu vehemently denied that he has a lending business even as he dared Emano to prove what he insinuated.
Khu said, “Dako kanang bakak ang akusasyon ni Gov, (Emano), bisan pa mag-random ug pangutana diha sa empleyado sa kapitolyo kung naa ba koy lending business. Wala gyud. In fact, natingala ko sa gibutyag ni Gov.”
Khu said he served as a consultant for three years in the capitol’s barangay affairs office “ug kabalo mismo si Gov unsa nga pamuyo naa ako. Wala ko’y lending business.”
Meanwhile, Emano stood firm in his decision not to release the mid-year bonuses yet until December because his “wish” is for capitol workers to receive all their bonuses by year-end.
“Pero I heard naay nagreklamo… and I heard nga kato kunong gasaba, katong who’s making the noise, kay kato kunong nagbaligya na sa ilang mid-year bonuses kay karon gaka-pressure na,” he said.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has called out the capitol in a letter even as it instructed Emano to release the mid-year bonuses. The Commission cited complaints from capitol employees whose names were withheld apparently to spare them of political repercussions.
Emano said the capitol has sent its reply to the CSC.
In an interview last week, provincial legal officer Cerilo Pacana said the rule set by the national government is that the mid-year bonuses should be released not earlier than May 15 but not after the end of June.
In a news conference, Emano said he has decided not to release the mid-year bonuses, arguing that there was no clear date of release given by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“Sa circular sa mid-year bonuses, wala kini mag-ingon nga when gyud ka pwede maghatag but it only starts on May 15. As long as it will be given within the time period of the same year, pwede pa kita makahatag up to December,” he said.
The rules and regulations on the grant of the mid-year bonuses in DBM Budget Circular 2017-2 provides that each government employee is entitled to a one-month salary as mid-year bonus.
Emano said he was waiting for the provincial board to send the local finance committee another letter for its members to explain the nin-release of the mid-year bonuses.
“The LFC can go anytime they want. We are not hiding anything,” he said.
Last week, not one members of the finance committee attended the provincial board’s session despite being asked to.
He assured that the non-release of the bonuses was not due to financial problems; he said the capitol has enough funds but there was a paperwork problem.
“Process ra man ang problema. Naay mga empleyado nga adunay problema sa ilang mga papel nga maoy nakahatag karon sa kalangan. Basta, I have no plans of giving it as of the moment,” Emano said.