TAGBILARAN, July 14, 2019–The new mayor of what used to be one of Bohol’s top municipalities began his term of office by revealing to all and sundry how much local government officials earned, so people could demand accountability from them.
Jagna Mayor Joseph “JR” Rañola dispensed with the customary inaugural speech and instead treated his constituents to a PowerPoint presentation on the municipal budget.
“Our town is worth only P93.4 million based on the inventory report of assets by the Commission on Audit,” Rañola told the shocked audience at the municipal basketball court shortly before taking office.
Rañola, who had consulted for lawmakers on budget matters before trying his hand in politics, vowed to be transparent with the town’s finances, saying Jagna could become a progressive municipality if its annual budget was used efficiently.
The mayor and other officials, such as the municipal agriculturist, earned more than P100,000 a month, he pointed out.
Rañola revealed that contractual employees earned below minimum wage rates, and promised to raise their pay to P300 a day.
He said the former mayor, Bonifacio Virtudes Jr., would have won the May 2019 election if he had spent the town’s remaining budget, P19 million, on the people.
“You should know the budget,” he told his constituents. (PressONE.ph)