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PIA Press Release
2006/10/02

Ifugao is relatively graft-free, says official

By Vency D. Bulayungan

LAGAWE, Ifugao (2 October) -- The Provincial Accountant here confirmed that there is no graft and corruption that concerns big amount of government funds here.

Provincial Accountant Francis Biwit said the establishment of the Internal Control System and the Internal Audit System were able to minimize or even prevent the commission of graft and corruption in the provincial government. The internal Audit pre-audits the inspections and deliveries while an inter agency will monitor the implementation. He added that the purpose of this system is to establish legality of transactions.

Biwit also said the implementation of the new bidding procurement act also helped a lot in minimizing corruption. The law strengthened the procurement procedures, he said.

A Bids and Awards Committee was also formed to get the most advantageous price for any purchase of supplies and equipment. Its composition is changed from time to time to eliminate red tape, Biwit said.

Acknowledging that the systems will not be work without the support of its workforce, the LGU conducts values inculcation every Monday. This activity helps to remind all government employees of the proper attitude and values they have to imbibe as public servants, Biwit said.

Aside from these we also conduct regular executive committee meetings to resolve problems/issues and give recommendations to department heads and some division chiefs, Biwit said. During the said meetings, the Local Finance Committee composed of the Treasurer, Budget, the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator and the Provincial Accountant will give updates and additional controls if the committee observes something wrong d. He added that the said committee will present findings of any anomaly committed by any office and gives recommendations.

He also acknowledged the healthy partnership with the Commission on Audit who constantly reminds the concerned office of their findings. There is openness with concerned offices with the COA verbally advising or issuing audit observation memo, he added.

Biwit also revealed that a memorandum from Governor Benjamin Cappleman was issued to all concerned officials regarding the use of government vehicles and the proper filling up of documents as needed. Hopefully, this will minimize also the use of government funds and equipment in order to help the government save resources, he said.

The provincial accountant admitted that there are some loopholes in the implementation of the anti-graft program such as the loitering of officials and rank and file employees during office hours. He cited instances of employees drinking, buying second hand clothes or gambling outside the capitol compound during office hours, Biwit said.

To address this concern, the Governor will soon issue an Executive Order maximizing the utilization of existing permanent employees and the LGU will minimize hiring Job Orders (JO) so that the permanent employees will be the ones to work so they will not have a chance to loiter during office hours, Biwit said. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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