Village officials told to ready budget early-A A +A
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
THE Zamboanga City Government has given the 98 villages until October to submit their 2013 budget otherwise they have nothing to spend in January next year.
The order came despite the City Government already submitting its annual budget for 2013 to the City Council for approval.
"You have to start preparing your budget now. You cannot spend barangay funds without the budget," Mayor Celso Lobregat told the village officials during Monday’s Barangay Budget Administration Forum in the village of Curuan, east of the city.
Lobregat reminded the village officials that among the important things in their budget are appropriations for the maintenance of their 4x4 pick-up vehicles, especially the registration and gasoline, registration of firearms for the village watchmen and appropriation for bullets.
The mayor, in his message, focused on the sound fiscal management that his administration had instituted in 2004, for which Zamboanga City’s finances had dramatically increased, giving the city so much funds for projects and social services program.
On the bottom-up budgeting, which is now required of all local government units (LGUs), Lobregat said his administration has been involving the grassroots in the preparation of the city's annual budget.
"Long before the bottom-up budgeting was made a requirement, we have already been practicing it. That is why we have this budget forum every year to get barangay officials and the constituents involved in budget preparation," he said.
City Budget Officer Virginia San Agustin Gara reminded the village officials that their budget must include appropriations for disaster preparedness not less than five percent of their regular sources of income, pursuant to Republic Act 10121, otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
Under the law, Gara said that five percent calamity fund must cover 70 percent for disaster preparedness, which include pre-and post-disaster preparedness, and 30 percent for quick response fund or standby fund for relief and emergency situations.
"Any unexpended amount shall accrue to the trust fund within the next five years," Gara said.
She said City Government officials and employees may serve as members of the village watchmen or lupon, but they are not to be paid for their service in the barangay as they are receiving salary from the City Government.
The village officials were advised to purchase their commonly used supplies and equipment from the Depot (located at the city gymnasium in Tetuan), which offers cheap prices on all items.
City accountant Sylvia Binarao, who spoke on issues and concerns on barangay accounting, urged the village officials not to delay their budget for 2013.
"No annual budget, no honoraria for January 2013," she warned. (Bong Garcia)