Cebu City taxes spent on ‘lechon,’ snacks

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Mayor Michael Rama

CEBU CITY—A record of spending by the city mayor is offering a glimpse of how taxes are being used by some government officials on items that have little to do with governance or delivering basic services, like roasted pig.

In this city alone, Mayor Michael Rama spent P5.8 million of his so-called discretionary funds on groceries, roasted pig, flowers and snacks, according to records from the city’s Registry of Allotment and Obligations.

The same records also showed that Rama made a total of 270 “extraordinary charges” to his discretionary funds from January to Nov. 30 this year.

Meals, snacks

These included charges for meals and snacks worth P2.023 million; various expenses totaling P1.272 million; and other expenses that included prizes, rental, T-shirts, balloons, plaques, giveaways, publication and medical assistance, totaling P1.65 million.

Rama also spent P422,600 on roasted pig, P155,900 on flower stands, P121,700 on flowers, P119,176 on groceries, P29,014 on office supplies and P19,300 on financial assistance.

Membership fee

One voucher for reimbursement showed that P21,070 was spent on groceries for “walk-in clients and other official purposes,” which were not specified.

A voucher processed on May 21 was for the reimbursement of P15,000 that was paid for a “membership fee.” Another voucher was processed on July 12 to reimburse P18,500 spent on roasted pig.

Reimbursements for payment made for roasted pig, worth P111,200, were made on Oct. 3 through four different vouchers (P31,000, P24,500, P24,500 and P31,200).

A voucher dated May 29 was also attached to a reimbursement for meals amounting to P130,000 that were served during the distribution of cash incentives to village officials.

Another voucher, dated June 7, showed a payment of P25,300 for a flower stand.

Common practice

Mayor Rama said that the purchases of roasted pig are in order and itemized.

“Even the other mayors do the same,” he said.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said that the use of the mayor’s discretionary funds is “wide in latitude” but this should not be abused.

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Tags: Cebu City , city budget and taxes , Michael Rama , Philippines - Regions

  • Barangkuag

    No wonder most politicians look like pigs and act like dogs! Why on earth do we have ‘discretionary’ and ‘pork barrel’ funds in the first place? We all know too well that these funds are the ‘cookie jars’ for most politicians and yet we have allowed them to put there hands in there for too long…too long. We are really helpless bunch of idiots.

  • Facilitator1

    Mayor Rama said that the purchases of roasted pig are in order and itemized. He said, “even the other mayors do the same”–you’re RIGHT it may be LEGAL to do so and a WIDE-SPREAD PRACTICE in the government but it’s so MORALLY REPULSIVE…

    The citizenry (MASANG PILIPINO) expects you and the rest of government officials (either elected or not) to be GOOD STEWARD of the people’s money…

    TAX dito…TAX roon…nakukuba na si Juan dela Cruz sa kakabayad…yun pala pambili lang ng lechon, groceries, snacks, atbp–SHAME ON YOU!!!


  • opinyonlangpo

    As long as it is within the budget, why not? At least the people can also eat. Better than pocketing the money and declaring it as pays for ghost employees or improvements of roads to nowhere.

    • mg_harrier

      paano pag over priced ok lang din ba iyon?as per the above article,may lechon na nagkakahalaga ng PHP31K at pinakamababa yung PHP24.5K,siguro naman hndi iyan natugma sa prevailing market price..

      • opinyonlangpo

        The point is he spent it on food for the people. Lets hear if those people complain after eating it.

      • doncleo

        OK BA YUN? Pinakain nya nga yung tao gumastos sya ng 3,000 yung 20,000 sa bulsa nya,Ok ba yun sayo?…Yang mga pulitiko gumagawa ng paraan para makapagnakaw ng pera ng taongbayan kaya kunwari nagmamagandang loob pero ang sadya nila nakawan ang kaban ng bayan.,Don’t be naive.

      • opinyonlangpo

        Like I said above, the Filipinos can see the lechon, but can’t see the buildings and mansions and billions of the politicians abroad. Its just like you saying, its fine to get away with billions, but lechon …. no way. Oh yeah, the mayor nearby just build a new exotic hotel but never shared even a lechon …. bad, bad mayor.

    • Facilitator1

      Erroneous LOGIC Kabayan. If you can’t spend/use it judiciously don’t spend/use it. We are not a RICH country that we have the luxury to buy/spend on non-essential items or superfluous projects/gimmicks.

      On “ghost employees/projects”–korek ka dyan. All government officials committing graft and corruptions must be identified/prosecuted/punished to the MAXIMUM extent of the law. NO one is above the law–even if they thought they are….

      • opinyonlangpo

        It is a corrupt country, this is the lighter side of it. Some got billions without sharing a lechon to their constituents and still people complain on it, why don’t they concentrate on the big ones? Ah its Philippines.

      • insulin_rush

        isa ka siguro sa nakakain ng lechon na yon.

      • opinyonlangpo

        I wish. That mayor is better than the rest.

      • Facilitator1

        Mali na naman ang LOGIC. Ang PISO hindi mabubuo kung kulang ng isang sentimo. If you combine all small time wrong-doers it will still equates to ‘humongous” MONEY-SAVED sa bayan.

        REMEMBER a crime no matter how small or minuscule it is–it’s still a crime. You can’t pick or choose who to prosecute. Just our luck, these small time grafters might squeal and name names if pushed to their uncomfortable zone–and this can happen only in the COURTS…

        Unfortunately, in our country the BIG FISH learned how to cover their tracks so meticulously/thoroughly that their chances of getting caught is slim to none.

      • opinyonlangpo

        Exactly, its because Filipinos can handle only lechon. 

  • sakinlang

    Magkasakit sana kayo sa kakakain ng lechon at snacks mula sa pera ng taong bayan. Tuluyan na rin sana kayong maglaho sa mundo! Good riddance!

  • Ommm

    The saying is ” you are what you eat”…and this man has dined on a whole lot of pig….

    How does he even digest this gluttonous amount and drive past the many street begging children of Cebu?

  • mg_harrier

    boung pamilya ata ng mayor na to ay kasama sa budget sa pagkain..hindi nyo kasi pinaghirapan ang perang iyan kaya ok lang na ipambili nyo ng kung anu-ano samantalang andaming naghihirap sa mga nasasakupan nyo.2M for meals and snack is a lot of money..marami ng napakaing maralita ang halagang iyan!

  • http://twitter.com/tcdowitter Eva Torres

    Kung sa boxing pa, wala gyud tay bout aning mga mambabatas or politician kay nag himo man sila ug balaod nga legal ang pampangawat

  • julieboy

    How a position can change the morals and character of a person.If all this expenses are true,peoples money used for yourself,friends and family.Talk about abuse of authority.Pangawat na ma ni…Grabe gayud, Mayor pa lang kawatan na man.

  • speedstream2

    Why is it so easy and pleasurable for government functionaries to spend hard-earned taxpayers’ money with nary a thought that there are pressing concerns that need proper asap funding because these redound to the common good? Why do we keep on tolerating this kind of behavior? Could it be that we never learn or we like self-flagellation?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2DAZWQGRABQ742P6J6XNTSLGJQ dark matter

    Bakit nagagawa ng gobyerno na magkaroon ng ganitong mga provisions samantalang ang laki ng utang ng Pilipinas na hindi pa nababayaran? Tanggalin yang ganyang mga luho! (Para namang may mangyayari sa sinabi ko hahaha)

  • wawa2172

    I am not a government official,I am from a private sector. I guess what Vice Mayor Young is accusing Mayor Rama is out of sync considering its election period. As we know, the city mayor office have discretionary funds intended for use on purposes related to his function. As far as the lechon, foods and groceries coming from the funds, wala namang masama dito kung ito dumaan sa prosseso. Besides its the COA who will audit the office of the City Mayor of his so called expenses and not the vice mayor. Besides the executive including the vice-mayor will have to go through proper auditing by COA to determine if the expenses are allowed or not. I just hope Ms.  Young would do the same to all would be mayors and Councillors of Cebu, I mean published all expenses made by the council for their snacks, paper used, approved expenses for fiesta, charter days, medical and office supplies etc. I would also suggest that the Mayor, the vice mayor and counselors of Cebu City be given a 1 Php  budget for discretionary funds. One more thing snacks and lunch during meetings should be disallowed, not even coffee should be provided to visitors even dignitaries, no papers should be used for memo all should be in digital form forwarded in Facebook accounts,no flowers form City Government if mayroon VIP na mamatay kasama na ang mga city officials, erc. Mantakin mo Ms. Young ang tipid na gobyerno. How much  budget must be allowed to be spent? Miss Young you are the Chair of Sangunian di ba if I am not mistaken, so your council approved the discretionary budget of the office of the City Mayor of Cebu. I am from Mindanao, kaya lang yung banat mo sa Mayor nyo  Ms. Young ay may bahid politika dahil you are on the other side of the fence. I hope you will the Vice Mayor of Cebu and Tommy replaces Rama in case. I will wait for the time that you will also do to Tommy what you did to Rama. Will you accept the challenge Ms. Young? Else baka maging OLD na ako at di mo pa nagagawa kay Tommy yun. A 1 Php for discritionary funds and pork barrel for officials of Cebu..A resolution pleased. Klap..klap…klap..wa ha ha

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2DAZWQGRABQ742P6J6XNTSLGJQ dark matter

      Tanggalin ang discretionary funds at i-divert sa calamity fund. Hindi kailangang pasayahin ang tiyan ng ilang taong wala namang urgent need. Ang discretionary fund ay hindi practical at absurd kapag napag-isipan mo na mayroong mga kababayan na nakatira ngayon sa mga evacuation centers na may limitadong supply ng pagkain. Tanggalin yang discretionary fund para mawala yung pangangatuwiraran na “eh ginagawa rin yan ng ibang mayors, kaya gagawin ko na rin”

    • D_BystandeR

      You seem to be so enraged over what happened to the city mayor’s expenses in his discretionary fund being exposed and you addressed the Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young as a “lady” when in fact he is a man like you or you are a gay, I don’t know. Your line of reasoning tells me you are an avid supporter of the City Mayor Mike Rama. Maybe it is beyond your knowledge that if not for the BOPK City Council who is deflecting the inhuman treatment of Rama to the different impoverished settlers in the city which bore the brunt of his “heartless” city administration in imposing more hardships to them, their situation now would become totally intolerable. From what you’re saying, I understand you are just blinded by your “too much high regard for a decrepit leadership.”

      • wawa2172

         I am not from Cebu and I don’t know Rama or Young. My apology if I address Young as a “lady” lalake pala siya, sorry sir. However, I am not enraged by the expose of VM Young  of Rama’s expenses of his discretionary funds. What I am saying is that your city’s BOPK City dominated city council gave and authorized Rama with discretionary funds to spend. I am not blinded of whatever decrepit leadership your mayor have but its something that VM Young  and the council authority to question your mayor expenses e hindi pa naman audited nang COA ang mga allegations.  What is happening in Cebu is pure politics because the reality is that the allegations will point to the rivalry betweenTommy and Rama for the 2013 mayoral election of Cebu. You mentioned BOPK and I guess its Tommy’s political party and VM Young too. Blaming Rama of the misery of improvised settlers in the city is again not the fault only of Rama but the entire political spectrum of Cebu. When you speak of improvised settlers, I hope not to be mistaken again that you are refereeing to “squatters” ?  Don’t accused me of being heartless kaya maraming improvised settlers or squatters sa Cebu or anywhere in the country ay dahil sa politics din. Mas maraming mahihirap mas maigi dahil napakaraming botante.Whoever control the vote of this people siya ang panalo and I am sure Tommy want it back dahil si Rama ang binoto nila last election. Tommy after so many years of being a mayor of Cebu will not resolved the problem of improvised settlers of the city. What is needed is to disallow them to settle in Cebu if they wont be able to afford owning property legally or even renting a place for temporary stay.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2DRTI6KYBDA3RZU5ORDYRXKHN4 Wackz

    nako po! not new sa mga gawain ng nasa gobyerno… 

  • wawa2172

    Question: Who approved the Discretionary Fund of the City Mayor? Di ba ang council headed by Ms. Young? So what really is discretionary funds? If it is unconstitutional then it must be abolish. The council must have already approved the 2013 Cebu City Budget. As the Boss of PNoy I move  na gawing Piso na lang ang discretionary funds of all Cebu officials and such amount should not be spent by the city council for whatever purpose they intend to use it. The Piso should be returned to the national treasury a day before each officials term ends. Ako na rin ang mag second the motion at ang aso kung askal  ang mag final say na…the motion is approved without thinking.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/36O4ZGE5JY24XE4XQOXBM6O4WE Klepto

    Ganyan ka bobo at tanga ang mga pulitiko natin. Walang silbi ang ganitong klase na mayor. Kung  sa hayop ang mga pulitiko natin ay kaparehas ng Ascaris or parasitiko. Sila ang nakikinabang sa pawis at dugo ng mga ordinaryong tao.

  • $8278216


  • Guest

    That’s distributing pork in truest sense.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIWYLFLU4LPKS7B2ZLLRVFKS3Y vir_a

    I am sure the same is true in Malacanang and in other government offices who hold parties. It is not right for Rama to do it but it’s okay for other officials. Even in other LGUs, Christmas parties are charged 100% to government.

  • boybakal

    Cebu City taxes spent on ‘lechon,’ snacks….

    This is good, buti hindi ginastos sa sugal.
    Second, Lechon is good in a way that the Mayor will not serve long not by election but by cholosterol and alta presyon.
    Pagbigyan na si mayor. Lechon lang naman.

    • batangsulpok

      Tama ka Kabayan, bayaan na lang natin silang kumain ng kumain ng lechon para matigok kaagad pag inatake ng alta presyon, menos gastos pa, wala ng gamutan.

  • palakasantayo

    I look at this issue of satisfying and gratifying the taste buds and stomach of his followers as a form of continuing and subtle campaigning for the next re-election. He is not stupid, he is smart using the public fund and not his own. Ito naman mga tao.. and daling mauto, papaano, busog palagi.

  • OFW Reader

    Another breakthrough from Cebu. The religious capital city.

  • amapangarap

    why? what were people expecting? kaya nga pumasok sa pulitika eh, para gumawa ng kabalastugan. may pinoy ba na nasa matinong pag iisip na pumasok sa pulitika?

  • blainz

    As a mayor he’s not entitled to a pork barrel. Since he already got the pork, it’s only fair that he get encased in a barrel.

    With a live pig.

    On a more serious note though, itemizing P422,600 for roasted pigs is not an excuse for spending P422,600 for roasted pigs. Time for that discretionary fund to go on a diet.

  • maypakialam

    kaluoy sad nimu rama naigo naman sad ka. pangamong ipagawas sad nang baboy sa uban arun makitagyud ang katarungan alang sa tanan.

  • Pork_Republik

    Hard for the COA to go and audit these things in the bottom of Cebu City official’s toilet.

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