Disclose finances or face sanctions, Robredo warns local governments

MANILA—Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has warned local government officials that failure to disclose budgets and expenditures could result to their suspension or removal from office.

“We want to strictly adhere with the full disclosure policy because we want to uphold transparency and accountability in government and it is in keeping with President Aquino’s principles on good governance,” Robredo said Monday.

“More importantly, we hope that through this reform, we will be able to improve our services to the people,” he said in a directive to provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, presiding officers of local legislative councils and the regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Under the full disclosure policy, local government units are required to post their budgets and finances, and bids and public offerings in government websites, newspapers of general circulation, and in appropriate public places.

Adherence to the policy is now compulsory, as provided by Section 90 of Republic Act 10147 or the General Appropriations Act of 2011.

“This is a big step towards ensuring that government resources are used responsibly and for the right purpose,” said Robredo. He said failure to comply with the policy would merit appropriate sanctions.

The DILG chief said that non-compliance with the full disclosure policy may subject concerned local officials to suspension or removal from office on the ground of gross negligence or dereliction of duty in accordance with Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

A Commission on Audit memorandum also includes compliance with the full disclosure policy among the requirements in government audit.

Documents and transactions required to be posted by LGUs include the following: Annual Budget Report, Quarterly Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Receipts and Expenditures, Trust Fund (PDAF) Utilization, Quarterly Report of SEF (Special Education Fund) Utilization, and 20 percent Component of the IRA Utilization.

Robredo added that a local government unit without a website should post the required information on the website of the DILG regional office or on http://www.dilg.gov.ph, the website of DILG central office.

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