More than 200 employees of the newly-created province of Maguindanao del Norte (MDN) have yet to be paid their salaries due to unsettled political differences between officials of the province and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The row has denied the provincial government access to the P1.8 billion fund allotted by the national government for its operational and maintenance expenses for the current year.
According to acting provincial administrator lawyer Mohajiroe Lauban, the province could not secure the release of its funds to support its operations and delivery of basic services to the prejudice of the people.
Lauban explained that to secure the release of funds, a provincial treasurer must be appointed. To comply with the requirement, the provincial leadership has requested the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), Regional Office XII in Koronadal allow the provincial treasurer of the defunct Maguindanao province to perform the duties of the said office during the transition period.
“The BLGF, however, required the submission of ‘appropriate legal documents’ relative to the commencement of the MDN which were then duly submitted but the said office still did not act on the request, claiming that the transitory provisions of RA11550 may no longer be applicable and sought the clarification and guidance of other offices on the matter,” he added.
Lauban stressed that the problem needs to be addressed urgently as the continuous delay on the designation of a provincial treasure in MDN was already causing havoc on the day-to-day operations of the provincial government