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Stricter policy on Pagcor funds adopted

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council has decided to adopt stringent measures in spending the funds received by the city government from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation after learning that the fund is almost depleted.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña, who chairs the council’s committee on budget and finance, said she was informed by the Accounting Office that the remaining funds from Pagcor is only P17,970,968.

According to Osmeña, she was told the reason behind is that all projects approved by the city council were charged to Pagcor funds. Osmeña said if they allow the practice to continue the city’s trust fund will be completely depleted.

Based on the accounting records, a total of P20,590,525 worth of projects last year were charged to Pagcor funds. Henceforth, the members of the council agreed that all future expenses to be charged to Pagcor funds shall be reviewed by the Committee on Budget and Finance.

Pagcor is giving P4 million every month to the city government as share in the casino gambling operation.

Based on the guidelines set by Pagcor, the funds will be used for projects that will directly benefit the public like health and peace and order-related matters.

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Osmeña has started reviewing the proposals of Councilors Edgardo Labella and Jose Daluz III for the purchase of P1.2 million service vehicles for the City Mining Regulatory Board, another P800,000 brand new vehicle for Barangay Bonbon, P524,000 fiber glass basketball board for Barangay Kalunasan and other projects.

In her committee report, Osmeña said she is inclined to approve the requests of Daluz and Labella, but said that the previously approved requests should be prioritized. - THE FREEMAN

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