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ABC cuts expenses, sets example with general assembly

- Garry B. Lao and Jessica Ann R. Pareja () - March 13, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) has cut 60 percent off from the usual amount it spends for its general assembly.

ABC President Michael Ralota said the association only spent some P40,000 for the first general assembly yesterday or P60,000 less from the P100,000 spent in the previous gatherings. The P60,000 covered the food and travel expenses of the attendees.

As part of ABC’s cost-cutting policy, Ralota said all future gatherings of the ABC will be held at the ABC building at the South Road Properties where yesterday’s assembly was held. During the term of ABC President Eugenio Faelnar, ABC assemblies were held in more costly venues like resorts. Ralota said the money spent for a gathering might as well be spent for services that are beneficial to the barangays. The ABC can save more if it will reduce its operational expenses.

“Dako kaayo og deperensya kung atong ikomparar kaniadto,” Ralota said.

When his term ended last year, Faelnar left the ABC a total savings of P709,000, which he admitted was not enough to pay for the salaries of employees. The ABC needs P320,000 every month for salary of employees. This does not include the budget to pay for its utility bills.

Aside from cutting its operational expenses, Ralota said he also plans to replace the glass panels on the ABC building’s windows with jalousie blades so that air-conditioning would no longer be necessary. This way, much can be saved from the monthly electric bill of P24,000.

“We will re-design the building…instead of glass panels, we will convert it into windows aron dili nata maggamit og aircon. Pinaagi niini, ang atong mabayran sa atong electric bill, mo-ubos na gyud,” Ralota said.

Aside from the 63 barangays captains, Cebu Represenatives Tomas Osmeña and Rep. Rachel del Mar; City Councilors Noel Wenceslao, Alvin Dizon, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Eduardo Rama, Lea Ouano-Japson, Roberto Cabarrubias and Margarita Osmena; city government department heads Arlene Rentuza of the accounting office and Nelfa Briones of the budget office; Department of Interior and Local Government city director Patricio Gabuya, and representatives of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District also attended yesterday’s assembly.

MCWD, in particular, asked the barangay officials to coordinate with MCWD each time they undertake a project that concerns excavation like drainage. Lawyer Jorge Gabriente, head of MCWD’s Pipelines Maintenance Department, said that most of the time, the water district’s pipelines are hit and damaged during the implementation of these types of projects. He explained that damaged pipelines are dangerous because they pose a risk for water contamination.

For her part, Rentuza said the major concern her office faces with barangays is on the submission of financial reports, which some barangays take a long time to accomplish. Rentuza said what happens is that the delay in the submission of financial reports also delays the passage of the city’s annual budget.

Aside from this, she also explained that before the barangays can submit the draft of their budget to the budget office and the City Council for review, the same has to undergo assessment with the City Accounting Office based on the their financial report for the previous year.

She also reminded the barangay officials to familiarize themselves with the procurement law so that all requirements in the procurement process will be properly complied with. (FREEMAN)

ABC ALVIN ARCILLA ALVIN DIZON ARLENE RENTUZA ASSOCIATION OF BARANGAY COUNCILS CEBU REPRESENATIVES TOMAS OSME CITY ACCOUNTING OFFICE CITY COUNCIL CITY COUNCILORS NOEL WENCESLAO DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT RALOTA
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