Council rejects P4.8-M budget for agri rehab-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
THE City Council of Davao excluded on Tuesday the P4.8-million budget proposal for agriculture rehabilitation in areas affected by flashflood on January 19.
In an interview after a special session, Councilor Myrna L’Dalodo Ortiz, chair of finance committee, said the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) did not give an exact breakdown during the deliberation before the Council for the damage in agriculture.
Ortiz said the Council needs to know the specific details of damage in order to fully come up with a specific amount needed for each department.
Based on their initial report, the CAO listed the villages Tigatto and Waan with 207 and 35 hectares affected, respectively.
CAO added that there were 64 farmers affected in Barangay Tigatto, while Barangay Waan has 50 farmers.
Councilor Arnulfo Cabling also wanted to include Barangay San Isidro, Bunawan as among the areas to be declared under a state of calamity since he received reports that the area was also affected by flashflood.
However, the Council members said they are following the list recommended by the executive department and declared only 15 barangays under a state of calamity.
From P58.3-million budget, the City Council reduced the proposal to P53.5 million since, according to its members, the P4.8-million budget which was intended for the agriculture rehabilitation was not justified.
Ortiz said the P53.5 million was a portion of the P217.3 million, the city's five percent calamity fund.
"It will go to relief, rehabilitation, financial assistance and food packs for the victims of calamity," she said.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier requested the local lawmaking body to convene a special session in the aftermath of the flood that hit the city last Sunday.
The affected barangays declared under a state of calamity are Tigatto, Waan, Mandug, 19-B, 5-A, 8-A, 9-A, 10-A, 1-A, 2-A, 74-A, Ma-a, 76-A, Lasang and Calinan.
When asked for a comment after the Council excluded the P4.8 million for agriculture rehabilitation, Duterte-Carpio said: "It is well within their discretion to do so."
The mayor said it was the recommendation of the executive department, and that she acknowledged that it's still the City Council that will approve or disapprove the use of calamity funds based on its assessment of the presented facts.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 23, 2013.