MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte issued her first executive order on Sunday, July 7, a full week after she assumed office, creating an Internal Audit Service (IAS) to ensure that funds and resources are properly and transparently allocated.
The order comes days after Belmonte delivered her inaugural speech, where she clarified the fiscal position of the city. While she did not mention her predecessor, former mayor Herbert Bautista, she was apparently reacting to his farewell speech, where he said he was leaving the city government with P26-billion in cash on hand and investments.
"This figure may sound impressive, but it behooves us to clarify where these funds are and how they can be used," Belmonte said then. The "real state of our general fund," she said, was that they have "a budget for the remainder of the year of only P516 for every Quezon City resident."
On Monday, she posted on her Facebook page, Belmonte said the creation of an IAS would be a big step in fighting corruption that is in line with her “transparent governance.”
The IAS will review all procedures, systems, financial records, practices, and standards for all city departments to ensure that they comply with existing policies and regulations. It also recommends changes to the city mayor’s current methods, practices, and guidelines.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto also announced the creation of the IAS during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, calling the initiative as an “internal cleansing” for the city.
Sotto said fighting corruption and improving the lives of Quezon City residents shoud start at city hall.
“Magkakaroon po tayo ng internal auditing and accountability office kung saan matututukan po ng ating mayor at mabibigyan din po ng impormasyon ang taong-bayan sa kung paano ginagastos ang pondo ng ating siyudad. Sa ganoong paraan, we can practice full accountability and transparency among our people of Quezon City,” Sotto said.
(We will have an internal auditing and accountability office through which our mayor can monitor and our citizens will be provided information on how the city's funds are spent. That way, we can practice full accountability and transparency among the people of Quezon City.) – Dana Eunise Cruz/Rappler.com