P3.259B budget for 2013 is smaller than what executive department proposed-A A +A
Sunday, February 3, 2013
BEFORE the controversy generated by the padlocking of the governor’s office, Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale signed last Tuesday the Capitol’s budget for 2013 of P3.259 billion.
The amount is 11 percent lower than last year’s budget and P400 million lower than the P3.67-billion budget proposed by the executive department.
After her announcement last week that she may move into suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s office, Magpale now has no definite plans yet on where to hold office.
She said she will turn over her office to Acting Vice Gov. Julian Daan and after that, may consider moving into the legislative lounge in the same building, as her temporary office, said her spokesperson, Atty. Dara Acusar.
“At the moment, there are no definite plans yet to move in (to Governor Garcia’s office), as the inventory has not yet been completed because two rooms are still locked,” Acusar said.
The inventory in Garcia’s office started last Thursday but got stalled last Friday because no one had the keys to the locked rooms in the governor’s office.
Magpale ordered the padlocking of Garcia’s office last Wednesday, while the suspended governor was visiting Southern towns.
Magpale said she plans to hold office in a smaller legislative lounge, where legislators entertain their visitors.
At present, personnel of the Provincial Information Office (PIO) use the room, although they plan to move to their new building at the back of the CFI cooperative’s building next week.
Magpale still uses the vice governor’s office while she performs executive functions, like signing checks, vouchers and documents that brought to her office daily from the Capitol’s main building.
The annual budget that she recently signed includes the salaries of Capitol’s contractual employees whose renewed contracts started last Feb. 1, 2013.
Some of these contractual employees are legislative staff members, including those assigned to Daan and Magpale. The two are now in the process of swapping their personnel, which the Commission on Elections will have to approve. Daan is slated to move into the vice governor’s office.
The six-month contract of these workers expired last Dec 31, 2012 but was extended until Jan. 31, 2013.
Cuts in the signed budget were seen in the allocation for Pasigarbo sa Sugbu, which was reduced from P15 million to P5 million. The budget of P7.6 million for the Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbu was reduced to P3 million.
The governor’s P25-million intelligence fund is now only P5 million.
The budget for the e-Gwen program (for Expanded Green and Wholesome Environment that Nurtures) was cut by half, from P30 million to P15 million.
Local promotions, conferences and congress will get P10 million instead of the proposed P12.5 million, while the budget for international promotions was reduced from P10 million to P5 million.
Magpale said they slashed the allocation for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) by 20 percent, while the allocation for basic services, like assistance to hospitals and scholarships, remains the same.
In this year’s budget, the P710.047-million proposed allocation for the governor’s office was brought down to P599.535 million.
The vice governor’s P62.091-million budget became P59.315 million in the version that Magpale signed.
The Provincial Board members, who all agreed to slash their legislative assistance fund (LAF) from P5 million to P1 million, also initiated cuts in their MOOE and capital outlay.
But the allocation for their personal services, the source of the salaries, benefits and premiums of their staff, remains the same.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 03, 2013.