No release of public funds starting March 26
by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
Cagayan de Oro City (14 January) -- Effective March 26 until May 10, 2010, no public official or employee will release, disburse or expend any public funds for any and all kinds of public works.
This prohibition covers the Punong Barangays (Village Chiefs) and those of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) and their subsidiaries, in connection with the May 10 elections, Atty. Renato A. Magbutay, Regional Elections Director of region 10, said.
However, pursuant to Comelec Resolution No. 8732, promulgated last Dec. 23, the following exemptions are allowed:
Maintenance of existing and / or completed public works project, provided that not more than the average number of laborers or employees already employed during the 6-month period immediately prior to March 26, 2010 will be permitted to work during such time;
Work undertaken by contract through public bidding held or by negotiated contract awarded before March 26, provided that work under the co-called "takay" or "pakyaw" system shall not be considered as work by contract;
Payment for the usual cost of preparation for working drawings, specifications, bills of materials, estimates and other procedures preparatory to actual construction and all incidental expenses for wages of watchmen and other laborers employed for such work in field storehouses before March 26; and
Emergency work necessitated by the occurrence of a public calamity, but limited only to the restoration of the damaged facility, on-going public works projects which were started before the campaign period and those under foreign agreements.
Should a calamity or disaster occur, all releases normally coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be turned to and administered and disbursed by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), subject to the supervision of the Commission on Audit (COA) or its representatives.
No candidate of his / her spouse or member of his family within the second civil degree of affinity or consanguinity will be allowed to participate, directly or indirectly, in the distribution of any relief or goods to victims of the calamity or disaster.
Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and COA, including all its field offices, are hereby enjoined not to release or authorize the release of any appropriation, or to pass in audit, payments or expenditures of public funds that may be used, directly or indirectly, in violation of the above provisions. (PIA 10) [top]