Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has criticized the order of the Department of Interior and Local Government that asks him to explain his recall of the provincial government-owned vehicles assigned to members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.


He said the DILG order is way off, noting that as chief executive of the province, he is the official custodian of the vehicles.

It is like they at the DILG are intervening with the functions of the local government, as it cannot be questioned that the governor is the property custodian of things owned by the provincial government, Degamo stressed.

He said he was surprised that the DILG was dipping its hands on the matter, that he believes, should be addressed at his level.

Degamo had ordered the recall of vehicles assigned to Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias and several SP members several weeks ago.

Except for a few, the rest have not been returned to the Office of the Governor, so Degamo ordered the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to seize the said “carnapped” vehicles.

Degamo said he told the DILG officials he can issue a written reply if warranted, but it will be a “lecture” to clarify that his recall order for the vehicles of the SP members was legitimate.

He said he had met with DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero and director Manuel Gotis (DILG-Bureau of Local Government Supervision) during a recent visit to the National Capital Region regarding this.

“I think he was misinformed,” Degamo said of Gotis.

Gotis had earlier written the governor, asking him to explain the recall order, saying that an ordinance appropriating P21,218,380 to purchase vehicles for the vice governor and board members for the monitoring of projects has not yet been superseded.

The ordinance was based on Resolution 235 of the SP in 2010, for the appropriation of funds to buy the vehicles for provincial officials.

Degamo insists that as governor and official property custodian, he has the authority to “regulate” the use of the vehicles, including consumption of fuel and official trips, among others.

Undersecretary Panadero apologized to him during their meeting last week, Degamo claimed, adding that both DILG officials were passing the buck after he had already given them a “lecture” on his functions as property custodian of the provincial government of Negros Oriental.

He also cancelled the Memorandum Receipts of some board members, citing there is no need to monitor projects as claimed by the latter. “What is there to monitor when they disapproved the P1.5 million that I gave to them from the General Fund and another P1.5 million from the 20 percent Development Fund for their projects,” Degamo said of the SP.

He added that following the basic rules and regulations of the Commission on Audit, any provincial government-owned vehicle must have the approval of the property custodian, in this case, the governor, before its use with a trip ticket.

He added these vehicles must be marked “for official use only”.*JFP