Only 11 brgys avail
of Christmas bonus
By Lydia C. Pendon
OUT of the 180 barangays of Iloilo City, only 11 availed of the P34,000 Christmas bonus given by the city government in December 2010 for specific barangay projects.
This was revealed by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog after checking with the city treasurer’s office the status of the amount mostly taken from the balance of unspent calamity fund of 2010.
Mabilog admitted that 155 city barangays were listed as recipients of the more than P5-million bonus at P34,000 each. The amount was earmarked for barangay projects deemed necessary by their respective barangay councils.
The mayor clarified that at the time the fund was released, there were no implementing rules and regulations (IRR) issued yet regarding the use of unspent calamity fund which the Department of Interior and Local Government said must be treated as a trust fund in the 2011 budget.
DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo recently said that the balance amount in 2010 is not yet covered by the COA ruling to convert the unused calamity fund into a trust fund for the use of disaster risk and management projects.
Mabilog said the barangays are willing to return the money if COA insists on its disallowance notice but he will give the same amount as assistance fund to the barangays to be taken from the general fund this year.