Misor prov'l gov't stunned as court issues TRO against 2020 budget

By Mark Francisco
July 2, 2020


VIRTUALLY all operations of the provincial government of Misamis Oriental that involve the release of money from the provincial coffers will cease to function until July 19.


This after a regional trial court here issued a temporary restraining order barring the Capitol from disbursing out of the 2020 provincial budget effective June 29 until that day.


The order - which the Capitol made public Thursday afternoon via a press conference - was signed by RTC 10 Branch 23 Judge Vincent Rosales for failure by the provincial government to post the contents of the appropriations ordinance in conspicuous places.


The order stemmed from a petition filed June 26 by Vice Gov. Jeremy Jonahmar Pelaez and two provincial board members - Jerry Khu and Josephine Mugot.


Aside from the P3.85 billion annual budget, also affected were the two supplemental budgets that were approved earlier this year.


In the press conference, Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said that the operation that stands the most affected will be the COVID-19 response of the province.


Under the current setup, returning overseas Filipinos and individuals stranded elsewhere will be fetched by the Capitol at the Laguindingan and Magsaysay entry points and conduct rapid tests for them before being whisked off to their respective city and municipal isolation units.


Emano said Capitol will have to do away with all of that temporarily and will have to delegate the catering of all arrivals at the local government unit (LGU) level.


But at the same time, the governor assured local chief executives that the Capitol is on hand to provide them technical advice which does not constitute the release of additional funds.


Also affected are the daily rations of police officers manning checkpoints at the two land entry points of the province - Magsaysay and Lugait towns.


And more importantly, the construction of the 50-bed isolation center of the province at Alubijid town will be halted.


Beyond the COVID-19 responses, other services which will temporarily cease are the daily rations for the more than 600 inmates at the Misamis Oriental provincial jail; the day-to-day welfare aid being disbursed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office; the day-to-day operations of the eight Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital; the funds used to purchase feeds for ducklings and tilapia fingerlings bred by the Provincial Veterinary Office; and more.


By Thursday evening, the governor has signed a memorandum barring his department heads to disburse funds before July 19.


Emano called the petition of the three provincial legislators as a "sadistic" move.


"Dili na kini pamolitika, nakaapekto na kini sa panerbisyo sa katawhan," he said.


The court has set the hearing of the petition of Pelaez et al. to July 16.



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