Thursday, February 3, 2011

Commentary: Outgoing Roman Administration parties hard even as U.P.'s 2011 budget cut leaves it twisting in the wind

Despised greatly in his day, Emperor Nero
is shown here fiddling as Rome burns in A.D. 64

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Even as the University of the Philippines continues to reel from a massive budgetary shortfall in 2011 engineered by the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, outgoing U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman, accompanied by 20 U.P. System officials from Manila will be feted on February 4, 2011 in a testimonial ceremony at U.P. Mindanao, at taxpayer's expense.

An embedded source said that the cost of the festivities is expected to reach PhP 100,000.00 alone for President Roman's testimonial ceremony. The source said the U.P. System officials are billeted in Davao City's Marco Polo Hotel.

To put it bluntly, this is nothing short of obscene. But perhaps this amount is peanuts for U.P. Mindanao Chancellor Gilda Rivero, who hosts the ceremony, which is an overall part of U.P. Mindanao's 16th Anniversary Celebration. Chancellor Rivero is perhaps best known for her 2007 expenditure of PhP 643,800.67  for her 2007 investiture ceremonies which was criticized by COA (see:

Chancellor Rivero, however, has appealed COA's report, and no known final ruling yet exists on the matter.

The U.P. Mindanao schedule of festivities is embedded below:

(To enlarge the graphic, just click on it

But the February 4 festivities will not yet be the end of the Outgoing Roman Administration's hard-partying ways, fueled by tax monies collected from millions of diligent and hard-working Filipinos. On February 9, 2011, 7:30 pm at U.P. Diliman's University Theater there will be a gala night to bid goodbye and good night to U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman.

The next day, or on February 10, 2011, Incoming U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual starts his first day of work. We have higher expectations of Mr. Pascual, and will be covering his six-year term with great interest.

(By the Diliman Diary staff)

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