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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Rama ‘can’t order fund use through executive order’

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cebu City said a local chief executive cannot appropriate funds for a project through an executive order (EO).

This came after the City Council sought DILG’s opinion on Mayor Michael Rama’s EO for the revitalization of Colon St., particularly if funds can be appropriated through the issuance of such an order.

The appropriations provision of Rama’s EO issued October last year states that P5 million will be set aside for the project.

“This revitalization of Colon St. shall be funded or financed by the City Mayor’s special account from which the mayor is authorized to draw,” it said.

In a one-page legal opinion, DILG City Director Danilo Almendras said it is only the council that has the power to appropriate funds as provided for under Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code.

“In the case of cities, Section 458 of the Code provides that the Sangguniang Panlungsod, as the legislative body of the city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants and in the exercise of the corporate powers of the city,” he said.

Almendras’ DILG opinion dated Jan. 7 was sent to Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.

Rama, however, said he will push through with the project through private-public partnership, in order to breathe new life to the city’s oldest street.

In his proposed P18.9 billion annual budget this year, Rama included a P5 million budget for the improvement of Colon.

However, it was among the items that the council did not include in the City Government’s approved P13.4 billion 2015 annual budget.

Rama would’ve wanted the P5-million fund to be utilized for the establishment of boundary markers in Colon St.

Also, it would improve the road, drainage and sidewalk in the area. Such work will include pothole patching, asphalt repair, road leveling and widening of sidewalks.

The fund would also be used to establish and improve the historical landmarks in Colon in order to enhance its cultural value and its historical significance and beauty among many others.
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