By: Gail T. Momblan
ILOILO provincial Board Member Domingo Oso requested the Capitol’s information officers to discuss other programs and departments of the provincial government instead of focusing on the chief executive alone.
Oso relayed the request to the four anchors or hosts of the “Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo,” a weekly block time program aired over three radio stations in Iloilo.
The hosts – Ray Cabarles, Early Garcia, Joel Tormon and Jezza Nepomoceno – were summoned to the hearing on the 2019 budget on Jan 16, 2019.
The provincial government pays for the airing of three radio block time programs in RMN-Iloilo, Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo, and Bombo Radyo-Iloilo.
Radio spots at RMN and Aksyon Radyo and anchored by Garcia and Cabarles were charged to the budget of the Provincial Information and Community Affairs Office (PICAO).
The program aired via Bombo Radyo and hosted by Tormon and Nepomoceno was paid for by the governor’s office.
Oso said he barely heard news highlighting the provincial board when he tunes in to “Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo” program, which is supposed to cover the entire provincial government.
“Since you are hired as public information officers for the whole province, there is a need on our part, that in partnership with the executive, you also help us disseminate whatever ordinances or information that transpired during the session or deliberations of ordinances which are of primary importance to the province,” Oso said.
For instance, Oso cited the provincial traffic code, which was not properly implemented in municipalities due to poor information dissemination.
The same is true with the ordinance of Board Member Renee Valencia, which grants medical assistance to barangay tanods.
Thus, Oso suggested that a press relations officer should be assigned to the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
“You do not only serve for the chief executive but all of us at the capitol,” Oso said. He added that spreading hate campaigns against the SP is not a good thing.
PICAO head Jose Nereo Lujan said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., already released Executive Order No. 46 establishing “force multipliers” in the information office.
Two staff from the secretariat office coordinates with PICAO on news and updates from the SP.
PLEA, NOT PROTEST
Oso also Nepomuceno regarding her Facebook post that initiated the “Black Monday” at the Iloilo provincial capitol.
Nepomoceno’s post on Jan 5 reads: “I encourage my fellow workers in the Iloilo Provincial Government to wear black every Monday starting January 7, 2019 to urge the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass the 2019 Budget. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Local Government Code provide that “the salary increase or adjustments shall be in no case be made retroactive”. So please, do not delay out 4th tranche of salary increase. We have families to feed.”
Oso said he respects Nepomoceno’s post as an exercise of her freedom of expression but he thinks it is “not civil and decent.”
“We work for the common goal and the same purpose,” Oso said.
But Nepomoceno said it was a plea, not a form of protest.
“That is an expression of sentiment nga kung pwede makuha namon ang amon salary increase on January. The term protest was termed by the media but it was exactly my expression only as an employee of the provincial government,” Nepomoceno said.
Oso said the fourth tranche of salary increase issue was already resolved, following the opinion of the Department of Budget and Management (DMB) and the Department of Interior and Local Governance (DILG).
“I’m just informing you that we can get our salary differential,” Oso said.
The DBM and the DILG had said in numerous opinions and issuances that local government workers will get their pay hike despite the delayed approval of the annual budget. The opinion is based on Section 11 of Executive Order No. 201, series of 2016 which set the schedule and rules of the pay hike.