By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
FORMER Iloilo City administrator Hernando Galvez lectured the administration of Mayor Jerry Treñas amid claims that purchases of the previous administration were illegal.
According to Galvez, the current administration should first study its functions and laws so that they would be clarified on the matter.
“Ang mga transactions kuno wala nagakaigo kag nagabagay pero basi wala lang sila gatu-on,” he lamented.
Amid pronouncements of the mayor that purchases of the previous administration could be suspended, Galvez said that they have not received official notices of suspensions or disallowances from the Commission on Audit (COA).
Instead, Galvez said he received a letter from City Administrator Melchor Tan declaring transactions under the administration of former mayor Jose Espinosa III as illegal, which he also questioned.
“Wala ko kabaton sang suspension order sang COA. Ang nabaton ko lang sulat ni City Administrator Melchor Tan nga ang transaction under sa amon rehimen illegal,” he said.
Galvez emphasized that that it is beyond the power of a city administrator to declare a certain transaction illegal.
“Ako natingala kay wala sa puder sang administrador to declare a certain transaction illegal,” he stressed.
He explained that the authority of evaluating procurement activity and releases is exclusively vested in COA.
“Ang COA amo na ma-review sang isa ka disbursement whether nakapasa siya sa tatlo ka parameters – whether illegal, irregular, extravagant, COA na dapat maghambal,” he said.
Galvez added that it is only the COA that can issue a notice of suspension after their audit and observation.
Upon receiving the memorandum of suspension, Galvez said that COA will give the subject 90 days to correct the practices and justification why the transaction should not be disallowed.
“Ang notice of suspension, ginaissue na kon indi man sila sigurado nga dapat idisallow ang isa ka transaction. Ginatagaan isa ka tawo involved to put up his explanation and justification why such transaction should not be disallowed by the audit that is why ma-request ka na for lifting of suspension. Ang suspension may 90 days ka na para tadlungon kon ngaa indi na siya pag-idisallow kag ngaa ilift ang notice of suspension,” he said.
Galvez emphasized that the administration should not intertwine their functions with that of the COA.
“Hibaluon nila ang ila function kag magtuon indi nga pati function sang COA kuhaon nila,” he said.
Treñas claimed that several vehicle purchases of the previous administration, particularly the 4×4 pick up vehicles, were overpriced by P12 million.
The mayor said Espinosa, Galvez and other officials face suspension which can all lead to disallowances.
Last week, he announced that the City Hall will undergo internal audit.
“May mga internal audit kita. I just received the January to June partial audit of COA and I found out that all the vehicles that are being used by Jeck Conlu are part of those that are being suspended. Si anay Mayor Joe, Bobby Divinagracia, Galvez, all the way tanan may suspension, kag kon indi na malift ang suspension kon manaog na ina sa disallowance, then they will have to pay for all of this,” he said.
Apart from the purchases, Treñas said he ordered the internal audit following the issuance of financial assistances to the unqualified beneficiaries of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and other questionable transactions at the City Hall.
Meanwhile, Galvez defended the 4×4 purchases of the previous admin saying that such vehicles are needed especially in terms of emergency purposes.
“Ina nga transaction sa isa ka official balay lang kag city hall pero sa official nga nagalagaw sa panahon sang emerhesya, mabal-an niya 4×4 nga salakyan. Potot pinsar nila nga abi nila komo siyudad tanan nga dalan sa Iloilo tadlong,” he said.
Nevertheless, Galvez said that they are ready to face disallowances if ever they receive one.
“Kon may disallowance kaya ta na panindugan na ensakto na. Kon may disallowances ang COA, we are certain, we know the law, we know the remedy,” he said.