Elipe: Moreno ‘consistent with inconsistencies’ on veto

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno is consistent with his inconsistencies, said city councilor President Elipe Tuesday, referring to Moreno’s statement that the veto override was illegal.

Elipe said if the veto override or the approval of the budget was illegal he should not have signed the budget.

“If the approved budget is illegal, why did he veto something that is illegal?” Elipe asked rhetorically.

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He furthered that the city mayor signed the approved budget and it confirmed that the process of coming up with the approved budget is legal.

“It is just that he is not in agreement with certain items that was why he vetoed,” said Elipe.

Elipe said the city mayor in his veto message was even thankful to the City Council.

On Monday, the majority members of the City Council overrode Moreno’s veto.

Illegal

In a statement e-mailed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday, Moreno said the removal, changes, and insertion of some items in the approved budget by the city council was illegal.

He said such acts were not permitted by the policies and regulations set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Moreno furthered that what the City Council did was an encroachment of the division of power between the executive and the legislative branch.

He said the act of the Council that led to violations set by DBM was to cripple his administration.

‘Not compelling’

Elipe said the veto message of the city mayor was not compelling enough to change the minds of the majority bloc in the City Council.

“The override confirms our (majority bloc) original work. There are no compelling reasons (in his veto message) to change our minds,” said Elipe.

Elipe said that everything is covered including the budget for the executive committees.

Elipe added that they (administration) just do not know how to look for those items in the approved budget.

Direct and indirect veto

City budget officer Percy Salazar told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that there is an end to this “veto-override” row.

Salazar said the mayor can only veto once and the Council can only override once.

She said it is possible that the mayor will propose a supplemental budget for its programs.

For clarification, Salazar said the city mayor used the “direct veto” because he wants to use the allocations of the 2013 Executive Budget.

As to the “indirect veto,” she clarified that the big cut on the proposed budget for additional PhilHealth members was illegal.

She added that if Moreno will use the direct veto and the City Council will not override it would go back to a smaller budget which is P15 million lesser than the approved budget.

Also, Salazar said they are expecting the Council to override the items vetoed by Moreno.

Salazar said it is the right of the Council to override the vetoed items of the mayor.

As to the items that were overridden by the City Council, Salazar said the approved budget would be used instead of the corresponding items in the 2013 Executive Budget.

Salazar said in the city council it is just a numbers game.

Elipe said what really ‘pains’ the city mayor is the big slash on the discretionary funds.

The discretionary funds were cut to around P10 million while the mayor proposed around P40 million.

He said the City Council has no hold on the discretionary funds.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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