BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan vetoed Ordinance 72, series of 2016, which authorized the annual budget of the local government for the fiscal year 2017 in the amount of P1.776,213,147 after some portions of the ordinance were not in accordance with prescribed accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

The local chief executive informed the members of the local legislative body the ordinance was transmitted to his office on January 19, 2017, but the details of the local legislative measure were not complete and the lacking documents were received by him only last February 2, 2017.

“Much to my regret, I am duty bound to veto an item of appropriation in the appropriation ordinance on the ground that it is not in accordance with existing budgeting, accounting and auditing rules, and regulations,” Domogan stated.

In pages 116-117, of Ordinance No. 72, series of 2017, the expenses for garbage hauling and tipping fee under the City General Services Office were reflected in the first quarter expenditures earmarked under Account Code 5-02-12-010 or environment and sanitary services for P9,800,000 and in the second to fourth quarter expenditures, it was earmarked under Account Code 5-02-99-990 or other maintenance and operating expenses for P75,000,000.

Domogan quoted Annex B of Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 2015-009, dated December 1, 2015, entitled “Prescribing the Revised Chart of Accounts for Local government Units (LGUs) page 84 that for the account title environment and sanitary services with Account Code 5-02-12-010”, which stipulated that the account is used to record the cost of services contracted and undertaken by administration for the upkeep and sanitation of the public places. That includes the cost of the clean and green program, garbage and hospital waste collection and disposal.

The mayor emphasized expenditures should be charged to their proper accounts, citing that it is absurd and a patent violation of the COA Circular to transfer the appropriation specifically earmarked for garbage hauling and tipping fees to an inappropriate account knowing its proper classification.

Domogan suggested the amount of P75,000,000 from the maintenance and other operating expenses should be returned to its correct account in the budget as garbage hauling is a regular service provided by the local government.

The fact the local legislative body have already authorized the expenditure specifically for garbage hauling and tipping fees in the 2017 budget, Domogan added it is a matter for the executive department through the General Services to implement the program, projects, and activities as programmed.

Domogan revealed the question of whether a Sanggunian authorization separate from the appropriation ordinance is required should be resolved depending on the particular circumstances of the case.

Further, he pointed out specific Sanggunian approval may also be required for the purchase of goods and services which are neither specified in the appropriation ordinance nor encompassed within the services and maintenance expenses, thus, garbage hauling services and tipping fees is a regular expenditure of the city under its solid waste program. (Dexter See/PIO)