Commission on Audit

Matalom, Leyte execs flagged for hiring live bands

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Matalom, Leyte execs flagged for hiring live bands

Composite from Matalom Updates FB and Cueshé FB

Matalom, Leyte Mayor Eric Pajulio defends spending P1 million for live bands in 2023, saying that it promotes Philippine culture

MANILA, Philippines – Government officials of Matalom, Leyte face scrutiny from the Commission on Audit (COA) for spending P1 million of taxpayers’ money on live band entertainment in 2023, which state auditors claim violates the Local Government Code and may be disallowed.

Matalom officials 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. Promo materials showed that the bands were hired for the town’s founding day celebrations.

The Matalom government was instructed to halt these expenditures as they are solely for entertainment. Auditors went on to describe the spending as a “wastage of government funds.”

“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. 

In a letter to COA on March 12, 2024, the municipal budget officer stated that while he signed the second payment, he objected to using the LGU budget for live bands due to concerns about propriety and legality. He also noted that the first payment was signed by an acting budget officer during his official trip.

Meanwhile, Matalom officials disputed the audit observation, saying the live band services were meant to “preserve and promote culture and arts.”

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

Wolfgang bassist Mon Legaspi dies at 54

Wolfgang bassist Mon Legaspi dies at 54

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