Latest Stories

Cebu mayor told to explain use of school funds


CEBU CITY—The Commission on Audit (COA) has asked Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to explain why he should not be held liable for what the COA said was the illegal use of P56.3 million of the city’s Special Education Funds (SEF).

The state auditors also asked the Local School Board (LSB) to submit documents that would justify the SEF expenses.

“In the event that no satisfactory explanation can be given, hold these officials personally liable for these illegal disbursements,” said the audit observation memorandum of Eva Cabrera, state auditor.

Based on the audit memorandum, the P56.3 million charged to the SEF did not qualify under Section 272 of the Local Government Code.

The law provides that the SEF should only be used for the operation and maintenance of public schools; construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment; educational research; purchase of books and periodicals; and sports development, as determined and approved by the LSB.

Yet, the city charged P48.2 million to the SEF as performance incentives for public school teachers, which were released on Dec. 28.

Other charges made to the SEF were the following: P2.9 million in SEF for psychological tests for teachers, P3.9 million for food and accommodation during activities of the Department of Education, P1 million for door prizes during the Teachers’ Day celebration and P300,000 for the Teachers Scholarship Tuition.

Councilor Jose Daluz III, LSB head, said this was the first time in Cebu City that an audit observation memorandum was issued in such a short time.

But he said the memorandum was no cause for alarm because this was not a ruling that disallowed the SEF expenses.

Mayor Rama said he has yet to read the memorandum but was confident that he would be able to explain the expenses.

“We will have to go through the usual procedure. We will sit down on this,” said Rama.

In an audit memorandum dated Jan. 7, Cabrera said the COA found deficiencies and errors in expenses charged to the SEF when auditors checked disbursements made from Jan. 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2012.

Cabrera cited the release of P10,000 as additional performance incentives to teachers amounting to P48 million.

The incentive was already “on top of other legally authorized benefits,” the memorandum said.

“The giving of such incentives may affect other vital projects,” it said.

Cabrera also noticed there was no document to support the release of P48 million from the SEF except the memorandum issued by Rama authorizing the disbursement.

Cabrera also pointed to notes on the cash disbursement voucher that said city treasurer Emma Villarete and city accountant Diwa Cuevas approved the voucher with “objections.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cebu , Commission On Audit , Michael Rama

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • 50 Quezon City cops each carry 30-kg crosses
  • AFP: Abu Sayyaf group, not MILF, target of Basilan operation
  • Massive infra spending set
  • DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  • Metro residents brace for long, ‘dry’ spell
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Marketplace