Dear Editors,

This is to clarify certain issues indicated in the Facebook post of the Baguio City Public Information Office with the title: Contractors’ Slippage, Not Corruption, Caused Lapse of DPWHFunded Projects.” The Local Government Unit of Baguio City is not unaware that these Projects mentioned must be implemented within one (1) Fiscal Year as mandated by the Cash Budgeting System of
the Philippines. The Honorable Mayor is no exception because he has always been a “famous crusader” of proper use of public funds.

Hence, it was improper to allege that the DPWH was disinclined to release the appropriated funds. The DPWH, particularly the DPWH-BCDEO, is merely following the applicable laws and issuances on disbursement of public funds, particularly COA-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, series of 2021 and National Budget Circular No. 587, dated January 3, 2022. To release appropriated funds beyond the allowable period of time is administratively and criminally wrong!

It is lamenting that despite the rigorous efforts of the BCDEO to comply with appropriate standards in project implementation, the Mayor seems to be misled into believing that these projects are substandard. Consequently, this prompted the Honorable Mayor to file a case against the BCDEO Officials. However, before the end of 2023, the Ombudsman dismissed with finality the said case and even reiterated it in their denial of the Motion for Reconsideration.

The clear conclusion of the Ombudsman is worthy to highlight: Ergo, without a clear showing of how this Office erred in appreciating his (referring to Mayor Magalong) averments and the pieces of evidence, and for failing to submit any newly discovered evidence, there is no basis to modify or reverse the assailed Joint Resolution, which this Office arrived at after thorough consideration of all relevant facts and issues, and pieces of evidence that were presented and submitted by the parties.

Thus, this Office maintains its disposition that the criminal and administrative charges against the respondents (referring the DPWH-BCDEO Officials) should be dismissed for lack of probable cause and substantial evidence. With the favorable decision of the Ombudsman, the DPWH-BCDEO remains to have a strong and unwavering commitment to implement its mandate to serve the public particularly in providing quality, safe, and environment-friendly public infrastructure facilities for the citizens of Baguio City

Amianan Balita Ngayon