City Hall lashes at councilor on 2014 budget delay

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Friday, January 10, 2014


THE Cagayan de Oro City Hall maintained that councilor President Elipe has caused the delay of the proposed Executive Budget for 2014.

City information officer Maricel Casino told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Thursday that the council should have started the committee meetings after the deliberation was halted on December 5 last year.

Despite the complete documents including the program of works that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) presented during the last deliberation, the council halted it.

DILG city director Jane Docallos confirmed the stoppage of the deliberation last year because the council referred the discussion back to the committees involved.

During the deliberation, Docallos appealed to the council to continue the deliberation because all the councilors were present.

When asked why the deliberation was halted, Docallos said: “Maybe we’re just unfortunate, or maybe because of the timing.”

‘Delaying tactics’

Rivera and city councilor Eric Salcedo accused Elipe of resorting to delaying tactics. He said that if the council is serious with the deliberation, they could have resumed it after it was discontinued last year.

Rivera said if the council wanted the committee hearings they could have started them after December 5 last year when the last budget deliberation happened.

“Why wait for January 15 this year?” Rivera asked.

Docallos said that while the deliberation for the proposed 2014 budget is ongoing and has not been approved yet, the council should not take “other agendas in their discussions.”

“The budget is their priority. They should deliberate until the approval,” said Docallos.

She added that the program of works will help with the deliberation but it is not necessary.

Salcedo accused Elipe for delaying the deliberation to give the impression that Moreno’s administration is inefficient, so that his ‘boss’ – former mayor Vicente Emano who is his father-in-law, can come back to power in 2016.

Continue to serve

Amid the deliberation delay on the proposed Executive Budget for 2014, the City Hall continues to serve the people using the re-enacted 2013 budget.

Through Memorandum Order No. 005-14 on January 2, 2014, the City Hall has been using the re-enacted Executive Budget from 2013.

The memorandum stated that “any and all releases and disbursements shall require the final written clearance of the City Mayor.”

It furthered that all releases should have a written recommendation from the department heads “unless such recommendation is dispensed with by the City Mayor in exceptional cases.”

Rivera said the local government will continue to operate using the re-enacted Executive Budget while the deliberation for the proposed budget continues.

However, Rivera added that the deliberation for the 2014 executive budget should follow the process according to the law.

She added that if possible a session should be conducted on a daily basis until the approval of the proposed budget for 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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