Mayor justifies budget for Christmas gift-giving-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
THE Iloilo City Council has deferred the approval of Supplemental Budget Number 4 (SB 4) amounting to more than P15 million that also includes P4.5 million appropriation for Christmas gift-giving to more than 10,000 indigent families.
However, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog justified the early budget for gift-giving to give more time for the conduct of bidding and purchases that usually takes more than two months.
Every December of each year, the City Government is giving gift packs to the indigent families as a way of sharing and celebrating the spirit of Christmas, Mabilog said.
The City Council, on the other hand, questioned the sources of funds and amount of the SB despite the certification of availability of funds from the City Treasurer’s Office.
Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, chairman of the City Council Committee on Appropriations, failed to explain further the items on the SB that led to more questions from the city councilors present. Peñaredondo vowed to reintroduce SB 4 by next week’s regular session.
Councilor Plaridel Nava said that Peñaredondo failed to explain the justification of sourcing funds from other projects and collected it as funds of SB 4.
Among those questionable sources of funds reverted for SB 4 were P8 million for senior citizens program, P607,010 from the peace and order funds, P240,000 from Smart Communications, and the P327,825 funding for children in conflict with law.
Nava said the intended recipients of the funds badly need the amount for their own projects, yet were not given to them. (LCP)