Board member sees budget approval in April-A A +A
Thursday, March 14, 2013
THE Negros Occidental provincial budget for 2013 may be approved in April or a month before the May 13 elections, a board member said.
Board Member Salvador Escalante, chairman of the Committee on Finance, said there are still five department heads who are set to defend their respective budgets during the deliberation of the controversial budget.
"The committee is only complying with the decision of the majority of the members of Provincial Board for the 25 department heads at the Capitol to defend the proposed budget for their respective offices for 2013. We are already through with the 20 department heads and only five are still up for grilling," Escalante said.
He added that the committee will be able to finish questioning all the department heads by end of this month and that they may come up with a Committee Report in April.
"Definitely, we cannot finish this all within the 90-days deadline for which the budget could be enacted," Escalante pointed out.
However, he clarified that after the 90-days period, the SP will still continue to deliberate on the budget until its approval and that they can already take up other matters during their regular session.
The Provincial Capitol has been operating on a reenacted budget.
During the lapse of the 90-days period, Escalante further explained that the budget intended for the employees' additional bonus of P20,000 each cannot still be acted upon, as the law says that a Supplemental Budget could only be approved if there is already an approval of the whole provincial budget for the year.
The SP during its regular session yesterday immediately adjourned after the roll call because they are still barred to take up other matters because of the failure to enact the 2013 budget. (TDE)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 15, 2013.