Kidapawan SP bars members from releasing grants

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/4 April) – Members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) have agreed to waive their role of releasing funds for grants and donations to avoid graft and using such funds for their “vested interests”.

In its regular session Thursday, the council approved Resolution Number 14-031 authored by Councilor Lauro Taynan, chair of the committee on finance and appropriations.

The resolution provides that the vice mayor as council chair, elected councilors, and ex-officio members shall no longer be allowed to release funds for grants and donations, which will now be called One Fund.

One Fund, Taynan explained, will be placed under the Office of the City Mayor, which will be tasked to release the amounts for approved solicitations.

Each councilor was entitled to release grants and donations amounting to P1 million every year.

Taynan likened these grants to the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), from which businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and some lawmakers allegedly benefited by releasing some P10 billion of such fund to bogus nongovernment organizations and questionable projects.

From his or her allocation under the annual grants and donations, a councilor may release P1,000 for emergency health assistance or hospitalization and P500 for medicines to each patient, and P2,500 for burial assistance.

Taynan said the Supreme Court decision declaring the PDAF unconstitutional inspired him to propose the abolition of the council members’ function of releasing grants.

“By making this as a policy, we will prevent graft and corruption in the council, thus, we would now be able to focus on our primary job, which is legislation,” he said. (MindaNews)