Dep’t. heads needed in session: PB-A A +A
Friday, November 2, 2012
THE “no-show” of Capitol department heads in the Provincial Board (PB) sessions this month might delay the approval of the Province’s 2013 annual budget, said Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, the presiding officer.
When asked if she will allow her department heads to appear in the coming PB session Gov. Gwen Garcia said, “I will carefully study their request.”
Since Sept. 17, PB members have been inviting Provincial Planning and Development Officer Adolfo Quiroga, Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre, Provincial Budget Officer Emme Gingoyon and Provincial Accountant Emmanuel Guial to appear in their session to explain how the budget was prepared.
Since the invitations were not heeded, the legislators again invited the officials, after receiving the governor’s executive budget in the middle of October.
Magpale said they need to get information on the budget, which is why they need the presence of the four officials.
Details for ‘lump sum’
Magpale said funds stated in the executive budget are mostly in “lump sum” appropriations and they need to know details.
“Sad to say daghang mga programa. Unsaon namo pag depensa kung di mi sultihan sa specifics (There are many programs, but how do we defend the budget if we are not told of the specifics),” Magpale said.
She cited the fund allocation for site development on the Balili property, where major portions of the lot are submerged.
She said they were told that there is a Phase I, Phase II and Phase III and the appropriation is lump sum for all these phases.
“How can we get information on budget intelligently? Kinahanglan unta mo-attend sila (Quiroga, Salubre, Guial and Gingoyon need to attend the sessions),” said Magpale.
She said these finance officials will enlighten legislators on how they arrived at the budget allocations.
“Di namo ma-approbahan ang budget kung di sila moadto (We can’’t approve the budget if they do not show up at the PB sessions),” Magpale said.
She stressed that their objective is not to delay the passage of the annual budget but to make the processing and approval “hapsay ang tanan (smooth).”
But Governor Garcia said previous requests had nothing to do with the governor’s executive budget.
“Dili nato i-mix ang present with previous requests (We should not mix present invitations for budget deliberation with previous ones),” the governor said.
PB Member Arleigh Sitoy, who initiated the invitation of the four officials, said his only aim is for the officials to inform them how they come up with allocations to particular projects, so the PB will be guided.
Garcia submitted her P3.674 billion executive budget for 2013 to the PB last Oct 16, 2012, which is slightly higher than this year’s annual budget.
After study and deliberation, legislators will pass the budget and return it to the governor for her signature and approval.
Once approved by the governor, the executive budget becomes the Province’s 2013 annual budget.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 02, 2012.