By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Since election time will be next year, I discussed with a high politician how a mayor for example will purloin the government of funds for his re-election campaign.
Tens of millions of pesos of these stolen monies will be used for vote buying that runs from P300 to P1000 per voter.
Where would the shrewd chief executive get the fund illegally to perpetuate his three years stay in his honorable if not horrible perch?
We scrutinized the annual appropriation budget of a town or a city.
In a five hundred million (P500, 000, 000) budget for the current year, the Local Government Code provides that 45% goes to personnel service or salaries for first and third classes … cities, and municipalities; Each of these local government unit (LGU) shall appropriate in its annual budget no less than 20% of its annual internal revenue allotment (IRA) for development projects; 5% of the estimated revenue from regular sources shall be set aside as an annual lump sum appropriation for unforeseen expenditures arising from the occurrence of calamities; 5% of their total budget for gender and development (GAD) concerns; 1% real property tax (RPT) will accrue to the Special Education Fund (SEF) shall be automatically released to the local school boards, and others.
The following are the results after the enterprising chief executive raided the coffer dry:
1) P54. 6 million kickback - P1.4 million in one month or P18.2 million in year that includes the workers’ 13th Month Pay, or P54.6 million in his three years’ term if out of the 400 public personnel half of them are “ghost” employees who received a P7,000 average monthly salary.
“Have you heard about a third class town with 400 workers? According to critics that 400 personnel are bigger than those workers of a city. A first class town in Pangasinan has more than 200 personnel only, how come a third class town has this scandalous number?” another mayor, who asked anonymity, posed to me.
2) P42 million kick back from the 20% S.O.P or cut from the 20% of the P350 million or 20% Development Fund (D.F) or infrastructure projects in three years’ stint.
My Explanation: Since the Code mandates that 20% of D.F will be taken from the Internal Revenue Allotment given yearly by the national government from its collection of the national taxes, I put P350 million or 70% of the P500 million annual budget a year. It must be noted that most cities or towns are dependent to the IRA that dominates their budget, the lethargic local revenues usually come from real properties, licenses, permits, others.
Thus the P42 million kickbacks came from the P350 million IRA multiplied by 20% S.O.P or cut equals P14 million a year multiplied by three years equals P42 million.
3) P10.5 million in three years from the 20% cut in the 5% Calamity Fund taken from the half-a-billion pesos annual current budget.
My Explanation: The mayor can utilize 70% of the 5% percent (P25 million) Calamity Fund or Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) even without the calamity or disaster by buying those overpriced, say 20 percent, training, purchasing life-saving rescue equipment like life jackets, speed boat, vehicles, others.
The 70% is P17.5 million of the mentioned P250 million calamity fund.
P25 million multiplied by 70% equals P17.5 million multiplied by 20% cut equals P3.5 million yearly or P10.5 million in three years’ stint.
4) P4.5 million
How about the 30% or P7.5 million allocation as Quick Response Fund (QRF) or stand-by fund, approved by the legislature, for relief and recovery programs to lessen the situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by disasters?
He can still get P1.5 million as S.O.P yearly or P4.5 million in one term from those overpriced by 20 percent purchased relief goods like rice, canned sardines, noodles, eggs, bottled mineral water, blankets, mats, mosquito nets, others because of his audacious greed to make money, son of a gun!
5) P15 million in three years or P5 million 20% kickback from the 5% (P25 million) of the total budget for gender and development (GAD).
My Explanation: The GAD Code mandates the LGU to identify programs, activities, and projects on gender development and fund them with the 5% taken from the P500, 000, 000 budgets.
6) Aside from the percentages that I mentioned recently, the politico can still purloin some percentages on the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) in the different offices on supplies where him as the Bids & Award Committee (BAC) chairman, in conspiracy with the treasurer, the accountant, the budget officer, general services officer, and the head of office who are members could spike the price of a laptop computer worth P30,000 to P120,000 apiece, and others and even tinker with the 2% and 1% of the Discretionary Fund and Special Education Fund (SEF), respectively, taken from the total collection of the RPT in a year.
He could earn also millions of pesos a year if there is illegal number game jueteng, bookish of government run Lotto, or payolas from the owners of the perya or faire where gambling is being hosted, too, and the baratillos.
To compute all the stolen monies as a result of the greed and criminal mind of the mayor, he could have P42.2 million a year or a staggering HesusMariaHusef P126.6 million in his three years in office that he could use for his successful reelection bid.
This analysis could be the same with those governors in the Philippines but with budget that runs to four billion pesos a year or a total kickback of P337.6 million a year or P1, 012,800,000 in three years’ term.
“How about a congressman?” I posed.
My politician pal told me, the average S.O.P of a congressman is only 10 percent that collaborate to what the District Engineer of the Department of Public Works & Highway who told me the figure then.
With an average of P1 billion a year infrastructure projects, the solon can pocket P100 million or P300 million in his three years’ term from the contractors who won in the bid those projects.
In case a congressman run for mayor versus a re-elective chief executive of a town with P200 million annual appropriation budget a year or a kickback of P50 million in three years, the solon has a lot of wherewithal to buy votes, pay for his or her supporters, and even finance those very expensive advertisement aired by giant regional television stations' ABS-CBN and GMA-7 to promote himself or herself even to those people in the boondocks.
“That will be, Holly Molly, P300 million campaign fund juggernaut versus the measly P50 million that could hardly afford an ad on TV,” I exclaimed.
“It’s just okay in case the mayor loses to a moneyed solon. It’s worse if he losses to a mayoralty challenger. The public works he sent to the barangays and the relief goods he distributed during a calamity came from the taxes of the people while his mayoralty rival uses his own monies to ingratiate with the voters. Nakakahiya pag natalo ka ng challenger kasi ang ginagamit mo pera ng bayan,” my politico pal remembered a town and a city mayor in my province were defeated by rivals by a stroke of genius or because of their incompetence in protecting their position.
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