Chavit’s P200,000 ‘donation’ falls under income – Artes

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
Chavit�s P200,000 �donation� falls under income � Artes
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Don Artes on March 6, 2024.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson’s “donation” of P200,000 to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is considered retained income, contrary to a statement by a Civil Service Commission (CSC) official, acting MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said yesterday.

He clarified that CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada’s opinion on the donation was personal and not binding.

Lizada said on Monday that under Republic Act 6713, the code of conduct for government officials and employees, a government agency is barred from accepting rewards or gratuity of monetary value.

“Commissioner Lizada said that is just her opinion and in our opinion, we have income retention, meaning we have funds that come from our income,” Artes said.

He added that donations fall under this category.

Artes emphasized that these funds are utilized with approval from the Metro Manila Council, ensuring transparency and accountability in budget allocation.

Regarding the authority to determine the permissibility of such transactions, Artes stated that the Commission on Audit (COA) holds that responsibility.

“If the COA deems the acceptance of donations inappropriate, the MMDA would comply with any issued notices of disallowance,” he said.

Artes underscored that donations are crucial for various MMDA programs, such as the motorcycle riding academy and Pasig River ferry service.

He reiterated that these donations are within the agency’s financial mandate and do not violate any regulations, contrary to the views expressed by Lizada.

The MMDA on Monday received P200,000 in cash from Singson – double his original promise of P100,000 – during the morning flag ceremony at the agency’s main office in Pasig City.

Singson’s convoy, including his armored car, was pulled over for using the EDSA busway earlier this month.

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