Friday, August 18, 2006

BLGF Restores Misamis Oriental as First Class Province

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MIKE BAÑOS / Aug 17) The Bureau of Local Government Finance has restored the status of Misamis Oriental as a First (1st) Class province after it was earlier downgraded to Second (2 nd ) Class Status following its reduced incomes for the fiscal years 2000 to 2003.

Records show that Capitol had earned an average annual income of P384 million for 2000-2003, well above the benchmark of P350-M for first-class provinces.

Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno immediately wrote a letter to BLGF executive director Ma. Presentacion Montesa questioning to the downgrading of the province to second class status.

"The downgrade was based on the 2000-2003 income, before my term started in 2004," Moreno said. "But we had to find why and look for ways to rectify it and restore the province to 1 st Class Status."

The BLGF based the recommendation for the downgrade on the reduced income of the Capitol during the preceding administration.

After the income data of the province was reconciled by the Commission on Audit (COA), the BLGF-Central Office restored Misamis Oriental to its first-class status.

"The exercise was part of our rebuilding process," Moreno commented with regards to the experience. "Thanks to the support of our financial managers."

He identified the capitol financial managers as Elmer Wabe (Budget), Amy Pacuribot (Treasury), Nene Bade (Accounting) and Cynthia Abanil (Planning).

In July 2005, the Department of Finance prescribed new income brackets for the reclassification of provinces, cities and municipalities.

These brackets now serve as the basis for the determining the financial capability of local government units (LGUs) to provide in full or in part the funding requirements of its priority developmental projects and other priority needs in their respective localities.

The Department order states that "in the preparation of project studies and proposals, the income class of LGUs is used as the factor in the allocation of national or other financial grants."

It is likewise used "to determine the maximum amount expendable for salaries and wages as well as the salary scales and rates of allowances, per diems and other emoluments that local government officials and employees may be entitled to."

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