Mayor vetoes items in 2014 budget

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Sunday, February 16, 2014


MAYOR Oscar Moreno vetoed what he considered as illegal and unjust items in the 2014 Executive Budget, believing that both “legal and illegal measures” of the City Council are aimed at rendering his administration paralyzed to serve the people of the city.

According to a statement provided to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, Moreno rejected some items in Ordinance 12179-2014 (2014 Executive Budget), which he signed on February 14.

The power to veto is vested on Moreno based on the Local Government Code of 1991.

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He said he disallowed items of the approved 2014 Executive Budget for reasons that such items are “ultra vires” or arbitrary because the City Council went beyond the scope of its authority.

“… The Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) went beyond the legal parameters of its power or has acted beyond the scope of its authority in passing the said items of the Appropriations Ordinance…” Moreno’s statement read.

Moreno said the City Council’s majority bloc is prejudicial to public welfare because the deletions and reductions made on the Executive Budget would “hamper and jeopardize the delivery of the much needed basic services” to the people of the city.

Peace and order

Under the General Fund in Section 3.1, Moreno vetoed the appropriations for the Confidential Expenses and Intelligence Expenses amounting to P5 million each.

Moreno vetoed this item, citing the following reasons: “detrimental to public welfare, ‘ultra vires’ or arbitrary, and grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

Moreno noted that the reductions the City Council made are way below the budget on the same items compared to the previous years.

The difference between the 2013 Executive Budget and 2014 Executive Budget in terms of Confidential and Intelligence Expenses amounted to P30 million.

In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Confidential Expenses were P17 million, P19 million, P20 million and P21 million, respectively. This year, it amounts to P5 million.

Also, in the same years, the intelligence expenses reached P14 million, P16 million, P18 million and P19 million, respectively.

For Peace and Order Development, the difference is around P15 million while P2.064 million is the difference for Extraordinary and Miscellaneous Expenses.

Moreno said the reductions are baseless and designed to hamper the peace and order programs of his administration, and added these programs were provided regularly in the past few years as permitted by law.

He proposed a P40 million budget for confidential and intelligence expenses in 2014 following the guidelines set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), but the City Council reduced it to P10 Million.

On deletions

Moreno, using his executive power, also rejected the deleted items like the proposed appropriation for Executive Committees and Existing Programs and Projects under the departments and non-office programs authorized by the past ordinances.

The total budget for the executive committees amounts to P164,061,477.

Moreno said the funds that are supposed to be allocated for the executive committees would cover the Regulatory and Complaints Board that actively implements its programs against pornography.

“It is ridiculous that this is now suddenly stripped of its funding together with other existing committees,” Moreno said in the statement.

He added that the programs of work of the committees were submitted to the city council following the schedules set during the budget hearing.

‘Ill-motivated’

“All these deletions were ill-motivated. They were meant to paralyze my administration. And this is the illusion of power by Dongkoy,” Moreno said.

Moreno accused former mayor Vicente Emano of influencing the decision of the majority bloc of the City Council to cut the budget by P330 million. The majority bloc belongs under his political party Padayon Pilipino.

He said Dongkoy’s allies have been instructed to block his programs to make him appear ineffectual.

“It is his grand design to seize the executive power through the majority bloc at the City Council. In the province, Bambi would ensure that programs like PhilHealth and hospital upgrade will be discontinued because it would remind the people what I have done in the province,” Moreno said during his Saturday radio program.

The City Council previously said should Moreno veto the budget, it is going to override it.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 17, 2014.

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