CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will push for this year’s P255-million second supplemental budget that will cover financial aid to constituents, which the City Government will approve and release before the ban on certain expenditures takes effect.
The supplemental budget will include P98 million for the mandated salary increase of all City Government officials and employees and the P78-million financial aid for senior citizens for 2010.
Councilor Jose Daluz III said the City will disburse the funds before the campaign period on March 26, when the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) ban on the release, disbursement and expenditures of public funds starts.
The budget also includes P30 million for the City’s medical assistance program, P6 million for the burial assistance program, P16 million for cash assistance to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and P12.5 million for different activities sponsored by the City.
City Hall will also charge to the supplemental budget the P7 million needed for the purchase of deodorizers for the Inayawan sanitary landfill and the P6.5 million for this year’s Operation Tuli.
Funds will come from the P277-million unappropriated balance of the General Fund proper.
“We expect to collect P2.9 billion this year and we only appropriated P2.6 billion for the General Fund, so we have a balance of around P277 million. We will use that for SB 2,” said Daluz.
Daluz, chairman of the City Council committee on budget and finance, discussed the budget with the mayor yesterday, which the latter approved for submission to the council.
He said yesterday that all the cash assistance will be distributed before the May 10 elections.
“We will not be affected by the ban because we will obligate the funds before it takes effect and we will release it immediately to avoid any violation of the Comelec ban,” Daluz said.
Comelec Resolution 8732 prohibits the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds when the campaign period starts on March 26 up to Election Day on May 10.
It states that “no public official or employee, including barangay officials and those of government-owned or controlled corporations and subsidiaries, shall release, disburse or expend any public funds” for any public works.
It also bans the release of public funds “for the Department of Social Welfare and Development and any other office in other departments of the government performing functions similar to the said department.”
In Cebu City, the financial assistance to senior citizens and the PWDs, the medical assistance and burial assistance are coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Services.
The executive department will submit the budget to the Sangguniang Panglungsod for inclusion in the agenda of next week’s session.
In yesterday’s session, the council tackled the proposed SB 1, the P25-million Election Reserve Fund, and set the budget hearing for it on Wednesday next week.
Daluz said he does not expect any problem with the approval of the SB 1 since the Election Reserve Fund is a statutory requirement in the Local Government Code.
The City will use the fund for the supplies and equipment needed for the May 10 elections and the operations of Comelec offices in the city.