IRIGA CITY --- Did you know that the local government unit here was taken to task by the Commission on Audit (COA) for its exorbitant spending on the pompous celebration of Tinagba Festival and two other annual major events?
As early as 2016, the government’s auditing agency has already warned the city government to slow down on using public funds in celebrating the Tinagba festival, the city’s charter anniversary, and the Pintakasi that coincides with the nationwide celebration of Independence Day.
The festival falls on February 11 of the year while the city charter anniversary is on September 4.
“But the COA recommendation that advises the LGU to save seemed to have fallen on deaf ears,” says a statement written in a sheet of paper on which the LGU’s excessive spending of several millions of pesos for the events from year 2012 to 2017 was exposed.
The handout also clarified that the funds were spent for one day only of each event in 6 years (2012-2017), a statement that makes one to believe that the LGU had actually spent extravagantly and that the city hall officials serving their terms during that period should be held responsible.
Former topnotch-city councilor Emmanuel “Nonokoy” Alfelor Jr. who is running for mayor in this city in the May 13 polls said that it is disheartening to note that while there are constituents who need to be provided with livelihood support, the city government still manages to spend lavishly on such activities of lesser importance.
“Let us put an end to this ‘cosmetic leadership’ that only decorates Iriga to be ‘visually appealing’ due to artificial things that allow it to be seemingly beautiful. Instead we must work on the things that will make our people significantly happy like providing them with jobs, livelihood assistance and other projects and programs that will help reduce poverty,” says Nonokoy.
The same document, which was circulated in business establishments here and the city’s 36 barangays, also charged the city officials for unliquidated cash advances when it procured Christmas decors and conducted season-related activities for years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Of the P6,747,400.00 cash advances made by the city government in November 25, 2015, December 23, 2015, November 21, 2016 and on December 2017, P4.9-M were reported unliquidated.
A quick look at how the Iriga City government spent for the events: