MEMBERS of the Baguio City Council agreed to schedule the budget deliberations in a special session on Tuesday, December 18 to tackle the income and expenditures of the city next year.
The local legislative body decided to hold a special session instead of discussing the adjusted budget of the local government last Monday to allow more time for the different departments to be ready with their various programs, projects and expenditures next year.
Earlier, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan transmitted to the council the adjusted proposed annual budget with an increment of P4 million from the projected increase in income from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) in the income portion of the proposed annual budget.
Domogan pointed out the amount is proposed to be allocated for the five percent mandatory share of the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) fund – P200,000; youth development under the Office of the City Mayor – P1 million; and additional funding for priority projects under the 20 percent local development fund for the fencing of the Sto. Tomas multi-land use area – P2.8 million.
The mayor claimed a favorable action of the council on the proposed annual budget will sustain the development programs the city collectively identified to improve the city and serve better the people as the current set of local officials are about to end their term.
On October 16, the mayor submitted to the council the P2.175 billion proposed annual budget of the city for 2019 for the latter to deliberate on and approve.
However, the council returned to the City Mayor’s Office the proposed annual budget requesting for an increase in its income statement by at least P10 million to ensure the funding of more priority projects beneficial to the greater interest of the majority of the populace.
The city’s finance officers recommended to the local chief executive that only an adjustment of P4 million is possible in the proposed P10 million proposal considering that all the sources of income had been fully maximized as the local legislative body never passed the required corresponding revenue measures that can lead to a greater increase in income to fund projects that are emanating from them.
Under the provisions of the Local Government Code, it is only the local chief executive who is authorized to increase the proposed annual budget of local governments while the local legislative body is simply empowered to deliberate on the matter although the same is empowered to reduce the same for whatever reasons.
Further, the Local Government Code also provides that once the budget will not be acted upon by the local government during the current year, no items will be discussed by the local legislative body on the succeeding year until such time that the same will be approved in a prescribed period not exceeding 90 days. (PR)