Excessive Expense For Live Bands?
OpinYon 8

Excessive Expense For Live Bands?

In the guise of 'cultural promotion'

Jun 26, 2024, 6:27 AM
Joyce Kahano-Alpino

Joyce Kahano-Alpino



While some local government units are going out of their way to provide a great experience for their constituents and visitors during the fiesta season, Matalom town in Leyte is believed to have been over the top.

The commission on audit had set their eyes on this third-class municipality after Mayor Eric Pajulio, in 2023, spent over P1 million on live music bands in the guise of cultural promotion.

According to COA, the disbursement violates the Local Government Code and may be disallowed.

“Evaluation of the nature of the disbursements disclosed that they are not only unsupportive of the objectives and mission of the municipality but are also unessential. The payment for entertainment expenses is expressly prohibited in Section 343 of RA [Republic Act] 7160, hence the disbursements are illegal,” COA said.

Waste Of Funds

It can be recalled that the LGU paid Brownian Records and Production P470,000 on May 29, 2023 for rock band Wolfgang, and another P470,000 on November 20 for pop rock band Cueshé, and reggae band Junior Kilat.

The bands were hired the the town's founding anniversary celebrations.

However, COA saw this as nothing but for entertainment describe the spending as a “wastage of government funds.”

It's For Promotion

On the other hand, the LGU stands firmly that they did nothing wrong as the activities were of promoting and preservation of the culture of the Philippines.

“These activities are also in line with the objective …to revitalize a community’s artistic tradition thereby protecting a valuable fact of Philippine culture,” Pajulio told COA in a letter dated March 8, 2024.

That's is, with the exception of the town's budget officer.

In a letter to COA on March 12, 2024, the municipal budget officer who requested anonimity for now admitted that while he signed the second payment, he was not on board in using the LGU budget for live bands.

He also noted that the first payment was signed by an acting budget officer during his official trip.

Why Can't We?

Following the argument of the LGU, some locals also argued that other LGUs and cities are spending way more on entertainment, so why can't Matalom?

Locals also pointed that the concerts were not entirely free.

"Sulit man an P150 han Cueshe. Once in a lifetime gud la ito nga chance para ha am," a netizen told Opinyon 8

Cueshe live in Matalom, Leyte last November 18, 2023.

(Photo courtesy of Sherwin Ybañez)

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #OpinYonNews

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2024 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.