Negrenses join the rest of the world in celebrating the International Anti-Corruption Day today with a multi-sectoral rally at 6 a.m. and a program at the Panaad Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan in Bacolod at 9 a.m.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., representing the local government units (LGUs), will lead multi-sectoral speakers in underscoring the values of integrity, trans-parency and accountability in the fight against corruption.
Other speakers include Dennis Mas, regional vice president of PhilHealth —representing national government agencies (NGAs); Fr. Ernie Larida, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod—religious sector; Bro. Ray Suplido, president of the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod—education; Mario Hechanova of Tuloy Pinoy Negros—non-government organizations (NGOs);
Frank Carbon, president of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry—business; Nanette Guadalquiver, director of the Negros Press Club—media; and Sammy Tulod (a student of Bato National High School in Sagay City), president of the Campus Integrity Crusader—youth.
The Provincial Capitol is more likely to return to the national treasury more than P10-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations that it was not able to disburse, before the Supreme Court declared it "unconstitutional."
Provincial administrator Enrique Pinongan said Friday that the Provincial Capitol is still awaiting instructions from the higher office on what to do with the P10,649,313 that they have not disbursed to intended beneficiaries.
Rep. Alfredo "Albee" Benitez (3rd District) has filed a resolution honoring American actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash while on his way to an activity that raises funds for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
Benitez filed last Wednesday House Resolution No. 577 expressing the chamber’s "heartfelt gratitude" to Walker, who was instru-mental in a humanitarian campaign that inspired other prominent US personalities to send aid to the country.
Supporting the resolution were Reps. Winston Castelo (Quezon City), Emil Ong (Northern Samar) and Sherwin Tugna (CIBAC party-list).
Provincial accountant Merly Fortu will soon get P2.4 million representing her backwages and benefits for three years that she was suspended by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. for alleged grave misconduct and gross insubordination.
Fortu, who was suspended from July 7, 2010 to September 9, 2013, was reinstated on Sept. 10, in compliance of the order of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Three months after Fortu’s reinstatement, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Wednesday, Dec. 4, approved the P4.3-million supplemental budget, more than half of which will be allocated for her backwages and benefits.
Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson sees a faster approval of the Provincial Capitol’s 2014 Annual Budget as he sees that "nothing is questionable" in the proposed budget amounting to P2.29 billion.
Lacson, who presides over the SP, said he expects the approval of the budget next Wednesday, Dec. 11, during their regular session.
Lacson yesterday furnished the media a copy of the report of the SP Committee on Budget and Finance.
According to the report, the P2.2-billion budget covers P2,125,170,888 for the General Fund and P874,889,712 for the Economic Enterprise Development Department (EEDD).
In addition to the P 22-million housing assistance for victims of super typhoon Yolanda in Negros Occidental, the Provincial Capitol will allocate P13.7 million more to fully cover the number of 11,871 destroyed houses.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) yesterday approved the resolution of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) seeking an additional P13.7 million for the shelter assistance for the victims of the super typhoon.
The PDRRMC, on their level, approved the re-alignment or re-programming of its Fund Investment Plan for 2013 and Special Trust Fund of the provincial government, for the said additional assistance.
Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer (4th District) yesterday justified his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations worth P34 million, saying the amount was all accounted for and went to the intended beneficiaries.
A report of the Office of the Provincial Accountant said the Provincial Capitol had disbursed all of the P34 million of Ferrer’s PDAF to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) - Negros Occidental chapter.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) says it is still "premature" at this time to conclude whether there are irregularities in the use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers in their projects in Negros Occidental from 2010 to 2013.
"As of this time, it’s premature to tell whether or not there are irregularities in the pork barrel-funded projects in Negros Occidental," DBM-Western Visayas regional director Alfonso Bedonia Jr. said in an interview yesterday.
Bedonia had written Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr. requesting his office to submit a status report on the P184-million projects in Negros Occidental funded by the PDAF of some lawmakers.
No prisoners from Leytre nor pirates that landed in northern Negros Occidental.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday dismissed rumors on a "pirate attack" in northern Negros Occidental over the weekend, and advised Negrenses to check the reports with the police first instead of panicking.
"There are no pirates," he stressed, when asked of the veracity of the rumors. "My advice to the people is to verify the reports first with the police," he added.
About 200 residents of Punta Roma in Brgy. Old Sagay in Sagay City fled their homes Friday night following reports that "pirates" have "invaded" their village and were killing people.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has committed an assistance of P16.53 million to Negros Occidental, for the province’s rehabilitation efforts for areas damaged and farmers affected by super typhoon Yolanda.
Provincial veterinarian Renante Decena disclosed this development Friday, adding that the DA’s assistance is part of the intervention of the national government for the rehabilitation of typhoon-affected areas and industries.
Decena said that of the amount, P8.43 million will be for animal dispersal, P5.6 million for pasture rehabilitation and P2.5 million for the repair of animal breeding centers.