City’s 2nd budget hearing today

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


WHETHER the executive department heeds its resolution or not, the Cebu City Council will push through with its second day of budget hearing today.

Mayor Michael Rama will call a luncheon meeting with the department heads also today.

Sun.Star Cebu called Rama yesterday and asked if he will stand by his earlier decision to have Assistant City Treasurer for Administration Emma Villarete explain the budget to the Council.

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Rama said he will have a meeting with department heads today to discuss the pre-scheduled budget hearings.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said the Council has no problem with Villarete speaking at the budget hearing, but Acting City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo will have to be there as well and confirm what was written in the P11.8 billion proposed annual budget that has about 200 pages.

Camarillo, Budget Officer Nelfa Briones and City Planning and Development Coordinator Alipio Bacalso are signatories of the proposed budget as members of the local finance committee, along with department heads and Rama.

Young said the Council will not focus on possible administrative liabilities of the local finance committee if the members will not heed the resolution approved by the Council to be present in all seven budget hearings.

Young said the department heads may just be afraid of Rama.

However, Young also reminded Rama and Camarillo that the latter is an appointee of the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government and Finance.

This means that Rama should not think Camarillo can be pressured into not attending the Council’s pre-scheduled budget hearings.

Rama called all department heads during the first budget hearing last Friday after the Council did not allow Villarete to explain the sources of fund, for the budget.

Rama announced he has no “trust and confidence” in Camarillo.

“If they don’t show up, we can continue to discuss the budget. We can go on with the budget hearing even without the department heads, but the data will not be complete,” said Young. He believes some items in the budget were crafted out of thin air.

One of the observations was on items that were “general,” not specific.

When asked on the possibility of a reenacted budget, Young said the Council will work on the budget, whatever happens, because they cannot replicate what he called Rama’s childishness.

Last week, Rama was irked that Villarete was not allowed to explain the budget when he gave her authority to do so and ordered Camarillo to let her assistant attend the budget hearing.

Camarillo had to be fetched from her office so that she could present the proposed budget.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 08, 2011.

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