Ecija town mayor suspended over waste disposal MOA
LUPAO, Nueva Ecija – The mayor of this Central Luzon town has been slapped with a three-month suspension without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman for hiring a waste management firm without the approval of the town council.
In a six-page resolution released on Oct. 19 but made public on Monday (Nov. 5), the Ombudsman found Mayor Alex Rommel Romano administratively liable for simple misconduct when he entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC) on Feb. 1, 2017 for the disposal of Lupao’s residual solid waste.
The complaint was filed by Vice Mayor Robert Ganayo.
Romano had argued that a waste deal was a pre-existing agreement before he began his term as mayor, and had drawn up the 2017 MOA with MCWMC “since there was an urgent need to haul the municipality’s waste and properly dispose the same.”
But the Ombudsman ruled that Romano failed to comply with Section 22 (c) of Republic Act No. 7160 (Local Government Code) which requires the town council to authorize every contract to be entered into by the mayor on behalf of the local government.
The Ombudsman said the mayor also violated Section 10 of RA 9184 (the procurement law) which mandates competitive bidding.
Romano could not rely on a legal opinion supplied in 2014 by the Department of the Interior and Local Government setting a condition for mayors to secure contracts without council support, the Ombudsman decision states.
It says the opinion “only allows the mayor to enter into a contract even in the absence of a [council] resolution in cases where the appropriation ordinance indicates in detail the specific project and the cost thereof.”
This condition was absent from the MOA between Romano and MCWMC./lb
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