The Department of Finance (DOF) has punished 14 officials and employees under its supervision and introduced changes to the electronic reporting system for treasurers of local government units (LGUs) to ensure transparency and accountability in government.
In a statement on Thursday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said he had ordered the implementation of separate rulings of the Office of the Ombudsman to either suspend or dismiss erring DOF officials in the first six months of the Duterte administration.
The cases involved grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Dismissed were customs operations officer Khalid Minoao Calandada and municipal treasurers Ananie Raluto of Zamboanga del Sur, Eddie Rodriguez of Occidental Mindoro, Aniceta Suyat of Buguias in Benguet, Candidato Macabangon of Bubongin in Lanao del Sur, Cipriano Plazos of Katipunanin in Zamboanga del Norte and Angelita Roble of Tudela in Cebu.
Suspended for simple neglect of duty or simple dishonesty were customs special agent Samuel Gamao Saed and customs operations officer Jerry Gomez Ponce; municipal treasurers Carlos Bengil of South Cotabato, Cherryl Aguirre of Valladolid in Negros Occidental, Rosita Siniclang of Emilio in Ilocos Sur, Jose Pastor Jr. of Talaingod in Davao del Norte; and local treasury operations officer Marilou Rivera, provincial treasurer in-charge-of-office of Misamis Oriental.
Dominguez has also ordered the filing of administrative charges against fugitive Laoag City treasurer Elena Asuncion, and has asked the National Bureau of Investigation and the Commission on Audit to conduct deeper probes into the over P85-million worth of missing public funds under her accountability.
Dominguez, meanwhile, required treasurers of local governments to include in their quarterly and annual financial reports to the DOF all environment and natural resources revenues and expenditures, particularly payments made by the mining and other extractive industries to the local governments.
Local treasurers have been required since 2011 to report to the DOF on a quarterly and annual basis the fiscal and financial operations of their respective LGUs through the eSRE system. Dominguez expanded the scope of the reports to include mining and other extractive industries.
Under Dominguez’ new directive, local treasurers will submit their reports through a web-based Environment and Natural Resources Data Management Tool, a data management system associated with the eSRE system that is being maintained by the DOF-attached Bureau of Local Government Finance.