CH’s public consultation to put council in bad light-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
REP. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) described as politically-motivated the public consultation series currently being conducted by Mayor Michael Rama for the preparation of the 2013 annual budget of the City Government.
The congressman said the activity seeks to put the City Council, which is dominated by Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) members, in a bad light if the legislative body will cut the proposed annual budget of City Hall’s executive department.
“It’s pure politics. Everything is politics. It’s pure deception so that he (Rama) can blame the council if they (public) will not get their projects. Mike Rama to me is very malicious,” he said.
Osmeña said the proposed annual budget of the City will really be trimmed by the council if the City’s coffers don’t have enough money.
For this year, the executive department proposed an P11.8-billion budget, but the council only approved P5.2 billion due to lack of funds. The approved budget was some P600 million more than the previous year’s.
“It is the responsibility of the council to take into consideration what is a realistic figure and what money is available,” he said.
The executive department started conducting a five-day people’s budget consultation series last Tuesday. It is expected to end today.
Among those being consulted in the preparation for the drafting of the 2013 annual budget are members of the urban poor groups, senior citizens, the academe and the business sector, among others, aside from barangay officials.
Rama wants the public consulted, saying he wants next year’s annual budget to be “participative” and “people-based” budget.
This is said to be the first time that the City consulted the public about the annual budget since previous appropriations were drafted only by City Hall officials and department heads.
Meanwhile, Osmeña said he was invited by the Liberal Party (LP) to a meeting on Monday in their headquarters in Manila.
Osmeña did not say, though, what the meeting will be about.
Asked if the LP has already decided whether to support him or Rama in the 2013 elections, Osmeña said the party can do whatever it wants.
The congressman said the BOPK is not loyal to any national party, adding that the group is only loyal to its constituents in the city.
Osmeña and Rama are expected to face each other in next year’s mayoral race.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 15, 2012.