By LITO RULONA
PROVINCIAL board member Jessa Mugot on Monday criticized what she called as a lack of transparency and accountability in the capitol’s financial management.
Mugot accused the capitol’s local finance committee of being “inefficient” even as she called out Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano over the committee’s conspicuous disregard of the provincial board’s summons so its representatives could shed light on the capitol’s failure to give its employees their mid-year bonuses and respond to a state audit report that found irregularities in the provincial government’s remittances to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philhealth and Pagibig Fund.
Mugot, the provincial board’s assistant minority floor leader, expressed her disappointment over the failure of the finance committee headed by provincial treasurer Marilou Rivera to face the provincial board despite several invitations.
She said Rivera and other finance committee members were a no-show despite supposed pronouncements by Emano that he has allowed the capitol’s financial managers to face the provincial board.
Mugot said, “Notices have been sent out and these were received by their respective offices. Still, they have not responded to our invitations. There should be no problem if there exists a valid reason, but how are we supposed to know when LFC members are giving any explaination?”
She said the Emano administration should set aside political resentments, and just be considerate to the capitol employees who have long been waiting for their mid-year bonuses.
She said government workers throughout the country have long received their mid-year bonuses except for capitol workers in Misamis Oriental.
What’s worse, Mugot said, if the Emano administration’s failure to give reason and a good explanation for the non-release of the bonuses.
“Kung kapitolyo empleyado ka, way bonus ug benepisyo ka,” she said.
Mugot said the act of withholding benefits that the capitol employees deserve and the failure to give any logical explanation go against principles on transparency and accountability, and good governance.
She said these failures could cost the capitol the Good Financial Housekeeping and Seal of Good Local Governance of the interior department.
Mugot said the absence of transparency and lack of accountability could also cost Misamis Oriental national government-funded capacity-building projects like the “Conditional Matching Grant to the Provinces” because of of the Emano administration’s failure to perform its moral responsibility.
“There should be a justifiable reason for not releasing the mid-year bonuses. I have heard that the management has claimed that it was because of the employees’ ‘poor performance.’ Such line of reasoning is illogical, beyond comprehension, and clearly an injustice to the employees,” Mugot said.