Council cuts P256-M proposed supplemental budget-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This was how Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama described the decision of the City Council to slash his proposed second supplemental budget (SB 2) by half.
He warned members of the City Council of a possible court case.
The local finance committee submitted a proposed budget of P256 million but only about P125 million was approved by the council in a session held outside the Cebu City Hall legislative building last Thursday.
Rama revealed that he wanted to submit an SB 2 worth P1.2 billion.
“What's the problem with that? Are they thinking of the crises or just themselves? I wish that it was just an oversight,” said Rama.
The council said it can only approve P125 million because that is what can be funded by the City Government.
The council did not include the business tax collection of about P106 million because the executive branch at City Hall had been unable to meet its total tax collection target.
City Hall aims to collect P6.4 billion this year but its actual collection as of Oct. 14 is only P3.9 billion.
“That's the problem of the executive,” said Rama. “(But) if there is a problem, look for a solution.”
The City Council, based on the recommendation of its budget and finance committee, also did not consider the P41-million retained operating surplus as fund source for the SB 2.
Rama said he will not accept the council’s reason that the P10-million road asphalting project under SB 2 cannot push through because of the infrastructure ban implemented by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in relation to the barangay elections.
Rama said that as soon as the ban is lifted after the election period, the budget appropriation can be used.
Seventeen other items that were proposed by the executive branch were also not given appropriation by the City Council. These included allowances for judges, prosecutors, policemen and firemen.
“We don't postpone peace and order,” Rama said. “Instead of helping, they (City Council) are destroying.”
The executive branch of the City Government can still submit a third supplemental budget. The mayor is discounting the possibility but he said he still needs to discuss the outcome of SB 2 with the local finance committee.
The mayor accused councilors, allied with the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), of tyranny of numbers.
He said BOPK councilors allegedly continue to adopt resolutions and pass ordinances that contradict his plans.
He cited the council resolution enjoining the City Government to pay millions of pesos to the Rallos heirs who want to be compensated for the use of a road lot in Barangay Sambag I.
The council also got the mayor angry when it passed an ordinance allowing a homeowners association to manage a sports complex in Sitio Manggahan, Barangay Punta Princesa.
The mayor said he will veto the ordinance because a government-owned facility cannot be managed by a private entity.
Rama reminded the council of his inaugural speech where he said that he will file cases against anyone who will go against the general welfare of Cebu City residents.
Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Jose Navarro is also thinking of filing a complaint against the council over the management of the Manggahan sports complex.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.