By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Can officials of a province act as advisers to another local government unit?
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo ‘Albee’ Benitez said provincial government executives tapped as consultants of the city government will not “step on” the line function of City Hall department heads.
Benitez said the Capitol officials will purely act as advisors, not full-time office heads.
“This is more on consultancy, indi man ni nga daw hatagan sila line function nga may kinahanglan sila himoon, it’s an advisory, consultancy program, they have work in their respective offices.”
The mayor said the move is also in recognition of their assistance “because they have been helping us since Day 1.”
Benitez said the appointments are of “no cost to the city government, or pro bono basis.”
Earlier, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City took up the communication from Benitez asking for authority to sign the proposed consultancy agreements between the City Government of Bacolod and Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz as consultant for administrative Matters and Systems Review; Atty. Valerie Ann Hollero as consultant for health insurance and healthcare; Dr. Mary Ann Maestral as consultant for health and hospital concerns; and Lucille Gelvolea as consultant for special projects and economic affairs.
All four consultants are also officials of the Negros Occidental provincial government.
The mayor said the agreements are necessary to avoid questions at the City Hall.
“We are doing this because we are formalizing our arrangement kay kon kis-a matingala ang syudad sang Bacolod ngaa ari d sila.”
Benitez’ letter to the SP has been endorsed to the Committee on Good Government chaired by Councilor Al Victor Espino.
Diaz said that Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson already approved their “pro bono” consultancy services to the Bacolod City government.
He further said that systems successfully implemented by the provincial government will be shared with Bacolod City without charge, like the ease of doing business and digitalization.
He further said that the provincial government will also share its 911 services with Bacolod City.
“We can mutually help one another,” Diaz said.
Benitez said he hopes that the Bacolod City Council will favorably act on his request during the regular session next week.