Lacson in his order stated: “After a careful perusal of the allegations and evidence available and presented, this office concludes that a prima facie case for Gross Neglect of Duty exists against you (respondent).”“The administrative charges warrant a preventive suspension in view of the fact that the respondent exercises authority over the herein witnesses and the Provincial Budget Office where evidence, testimonial or documentary are available. It is therefore imperative that the witnesses, other testimonial and documentary evidence, as well as the proceedings itself, be protected from whatever form of influence from the respondent to give due course to a fair and impartial investigation and hearing,” he added. Salado’s suspension stemmed from an alleged failure, as budget officer, to study and evaluate the budgetary implications and non-submission of comments, recommendations and objections the proposal and discussion of legislations enacted and promulgated by the Provincial Board in the creation of new positions by the Province of Negros Occidental in its annual budget for fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This thereby increased the excess in the PS cap allowance from P106,134,890.46 in 2015 to P595,224,524.03 in 2019 and leading to the disallowance of the said amount in 2019 and prohibition on Province of Negros Occidental to provide for additional PS items until such time that the PS cap is observed. The memo also ordered Salado and Jalandoni to refrain from entering the premises of the Provincial Capitol, Provincial Budget Office and any of its offices during the duration of his suspension or from doing such acts that will influence the witnesses and the proceeding. In a memorandum order dated June 6, Lacson placed under 60-day preventive suspension Provincial Budget officer Jose Percival Salado Jr. and Recreation and Mambukal Resort Welfare Services officer V Ellen Marie Jalandoni. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA On Tuesday, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said they acted on the complaints from the Commission on Audit (COA) and from the Internal Audit Division. “The COA continues to write to us regarding the continuous violation of the province in terms of going beyond the 45 percent ceiling in the budget for Personal Services. All these things are prompted by the investigation of independent bodies, not initiated by the province,” he added. “We had to act on it. The investigation started in December in some cases. When the Covid-19 crisis happened, we stopped the process for humanitarian reasons,” he said. BACOLOD City – Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has suspended two department heads of Negros Occidental provincial government while being investigated for separate administrative cases. Commenting on the governor’s order, Salado affirmed that he had received the suspension order on Monday. He pointed out receiving a show cause order in March attributing him for the offense. However, he stated it does not fall on his function because it is the job of the Provincial Board, which tells them about the plantilla and salary for every position. Diaz said the provincial government proceeded with the administrative process as Negros Occidental is now under modified general community quarantine, Diaz said those placed under preventive suspension may opt to submit a position paper or undergo a formal hearing. (With PNA/PN)
Still coming out for their piece of the cake – West Coast Berbice (District 5)WHEN West Coast Berbice (District 5) come out at the National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track & Field Championships (Nationals), which will begin next week at varying locations, they know that they will be at a disadvantage, given the team’s small size. However, the District still look to leave their mark.Though the District has a full capacity track and field team, like many of the other 14 Districts that will be competing at the Championships, the Berbice team are struggling with their swimming and cycling teams, and so realistically concede that going after the overall title of the multi-sport event just isn’t feasible.But that’s not to say that West Coast Berbice by any means do not have a goal, nor will they be looking to leave Nationals empty-handed.“We know that we cannot eat the whole cake so we are going there to at least get part of that cake. We’re not looking at the overall Championships, we’re going there to bring back some medals and show them what we can do,” declared the District head, Michelle Archibald.“For me we are not looking at positions in terms of winning the Championships because we have weaknesses; we are not going with a full team. But our eyes are on records, and bringing back some medals. That is our aim, my athletes know that.”After also facing a severely limited team last year, the Region Five team finished thirteenth overall, after the competition was won by the Upper Demerara/Kwakwani (District 10).Archibald knows that the District cannot stand a chance against powerhouses like Upper Demerara/Kwakwani (District 10) and North Georgetown (District 11), the two most successful Districts at the Championships, known to always be at full capacity.There are several longstanding woes that have plagued the Berbice District over the years, and while they have made improvements in the track and field division, the struggle continues in the other areas.The challenges range from lack of facilities to lack of equipment.“Up here in Region Five the focus is more on track and field than on cycling or swimming. Where swimming is concerned there is no pool that is close. For cycling we don’t have much persons equipped with their own cycles. We also won’t be participating in the high jump, because we lack that equipment,” Archibald explained.There are just 8 swimmers and 6 cyclists, while on the more optimistic side, they have a team of 12 participants for the teachers’ competition, but even there they have challenges.She further described that over the years a few efforts have been made by the Regional Democratic Council to address some of the team’s issues, but the remedies did not pan out well.“Where the cycling is concerned our region in previous years purchased two cycles; but after the Nationals the cycles were back at the region, and when we were ready to use them again, we had to service them and so after a time they deteriorated.“So they said that it’s a personal sport and the athletes, if they are interested, have to get their own cycles. But just a few children can afford a racing bike,” Archibald noted.However, in the case of procuring other equipment, like those for the high jump, Archibald says she has been appealing to the RDC, who promised to address the issue.“The Region is the one that the children are going to represent and if we are going to represent you then you have to ensure we have these things.“Every year when we come back to the region we write a report and do our recommendations and say to them: look this is where we fall short, this is what we would like you to do for us.“But then it just go under the carpet, and when it’s Nationals again it comes back to the same old story again,” she pointed out.