Fiscal responsibility lies on the head of Agency. In the local Government units, it is the City Mayor or Local Chief Executive who is duty bound to install and maintain an adequate, sound efficient and effective fiscal management system within the Agency.
In the past, the government has been perceived as being unresponsive to the needs of the people. As mandated in Section 3, Article X of the Philippine Constitution, Congress have to enact a local government code that sall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources.
Thus, with the enactment of Republic Act No. 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, the position of City Accountant became a mandatory postion to be created in all Local Government Units throughout the country.
Title Five, Article 4, Section 474 of the Local Government Code specifically provides for the qualifications, powers and duties of the Accountant.
a) No person shall be appointed accountant unless he/she is a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the local government unit concerned, of good moral character, and a Certified Public Accountant. He/She must have acquired experience in the treasury or accounting service for at least (5) years in the case of the provincial or city accountant and three (3) years in the case of the municipal accountant.
b) The Accountant shall take charge of both the accounting and internal audit services of the local government unit concerned and shall:
- Install and maintain an internal audit system in the local government unit concerned;
- Prepare and submit financial statements to the governor or mayor, as the case may be, and to the sanggunian concerned.
- Apprise the sanggunian and other local government officials on the financial condition and operations of the local government unit concerned;
- Certify to the availability of budgetary allotment to which expenditures and obligations may be properly charged;
- Review supporting documents before preparation of vouchers to determine completeness of requirements;
- Prepare statements of cash advances, liquidation, salaries allowances, reimbursements and remittances pertaining to the local government unit;
- Prepares statement of journal vouchers and liquidation of the same and other adjustments related thereto:
- Post individual disbursements to the subsidiary ledger and index cards;
- Maintain individual ledgers for officials and employees of the local government unit pertaining to payrolls and deductions;
- Record and post in the index cards details of purchased furniture, fixtures and equipment including disposal thereof, if any;
- Account for all issued requests for obligations and maintain and keep all records and reports related thereto:
- Prepare journals and the analysis of obligations and maintain and keep all records and reports related thereto; and
- Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law or ordinance.
c) The incumbent Chief Accountant in the office of the treasurer shall be given preference in the appointment to the position of Accountant.
Organization Set – Up
In November 27, 1992, SP Ordinance No. 454 was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod creating the Office of the City Accountant effective January 1, 1993. The City Mayor, Hon. Vitaliano D. Agan in pursuance to Ordinance No. 454 and by virtue of the powers and functions vested in him under Republic Act. 7160 and in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code of 1991 have issued Administrative Order No. 01-93 dated January 4, 1993 designating Mr. Rosalio A. Regondola, Accountant IV, of the then Accounting Division, Office of the City Treasurer as Officer-In-Charge of the Office of the City Accountant, who as such shall perform and exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Department as mandated in Section 474, Article Four, Title Five, Book III of RA 7160.
Likewise, designated was Ms. Sylvia P. Binarao, Accountant III, as Assistant Officer-In-Charge of the Office whose function was to assist in the performance of the duties and responsibilites of the Office of the City Accountant. Their designations have remained enforced, valid and subsisting until the legitimate City Accountant and Assistant City Accountant was duly appointed.
Upon the creation of the Office of the City Accountant, a separate Budget was prepared under the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 1993 to finance the operation of the newly created Department. The Organizational Structure of the Office of the City Accountant is composed of four (4) distinctive Divisions namely:
1) Administrative Division
a. Office Service Section
b. General Service Section
2) Internal Control Division
a. Financial Audit Section
b. Operation Audit Section
3) Disbursement Audit and Property Inspection Division
a. Pre- Audit Section
b. Property Inspection Section
4) Financial Transaction Division
a. Bookkeeping Section
b. Billing and Remittance Section
Initially, there were twenty seven (27) existing regular plantilla items or positions transferred from the Accounting Division, Office of the City Treasurer to the Office of the City Accountant and by virtue of its creation as a new Department, fifteen (15) more new positions were created that brings the total number of plantilla position to forty two (42) in 1993.
After an extensive evaluation of the qualifications of all prospective candidates to the positions of City Accountant and possible consideration of recommendations made by concerned officials and various sectors of the City, the then City Mayor, Hon. Vitaliano D. Agan had appointed Ms. Sylvia P. Binarao, to the position of City Accountant (City Government Head II) effective May 22, 1993 with the favorable concurrence of the appointment by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Zamboanga per SP Resolution No. 636 during its regular session held at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall on June 10, 1993.
On April 14, 2003, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have issued Administrative Order No. 70 ordering the creation of the Internal Control Services in all government offices and agencies including local government units. It was on the basis of such issuance that the Internal Control Division under the Office of the City Accountant was transferred to the City Mayor effective January 1, 2008.
To date, the total number of office personnel under the Office of the City Accountant is fifty two (52). A proposal to create a new Division, the Barangay Transaction Division is being undertaken to effectively discharge the functions and duties as mandated in attending to the financial transactions of the Barangays of the City.