Guv to Look into PACE vs. Accountant Controversy

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. said he will look into the controversy between the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) and Provincial Accountant Merly Fortu over the P100,000 Fund request of PACE for the holding of the Employees Day during the Panaad Festival celebration.

“We will look into the matter. She may have no budget anymore or there could be violations that if it would be disallowed by the Commission on Audit who will pay it?” Marañon said.

Fortu yesterday stood pat on her decision not to release the fund requested by PACE based on Section 2, Rule XII, Amended IRR of EO 180 that lists the subject of negotiation between management and the accredited employees’ organization.

She pointed out that PACE is the sole and exclusive negotiating agent of all rank and file employees of the province.

“It is our opinion that any financial assistance to PACE will violate the injunction of Section 6, EO 180 and clearly receiving funds from the province is alien to the power to negotiate bestowed upon PACE by law and can be a prohibited act,” she further pointed out.

Fortu also emphasized that this is the first time that PACE requests funds for such purpose.

PACE President Renelo Lastierre, meanwhile, said that they are contemplating of filing an administrative case against Fortu to be lodged before the Office of the Governor.

Lastierre said the provincial government has been extending assistance to the activities of the union including negotiated benefits.

He said that the fund request has been approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by the Governor himself.

He said that the case would be based on the series of acts done by the provincial accountant that he claimed were “detrimental to the Capitol employees such as the Charging of secretary’s fees at P50 per employee, the tax case where they failed to explain to the employees on how the schedule is done and her latest disapproval of the release of funds for the Employees Day.”* (Eugene Y. Adiong)