TECHNICALITY issues stalled the passing of the 2018 annual budget of the Municipality of Moises Padilla amounting to almost P129 million by the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental.

The Provincial Board, during its regular session Wednesday, February 21, disapproved the town’s general fund worth about P119 million and economic enterprise amounting to almost P9.6 million due to concerns in the number of Municipal Council members voting for its passage.

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of committee on appropriation, budget and finance, said that based on the data submitted by the Municipal Government, six councilors attended the session.

The Municipal Council is composed of 10 members, including eight elected councilors, one Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) chairman, and the vice mayor thus, there was a quorum.

Escalante said that in passing an appropriation ordinance, there should be at least six, or majority of all the members, to vote in favor of it excluding the presiding officer.

“The vice mayor or presiding officer cannot vote thus, they lack one council member affirming the appropriation ordinance,” he added.

The town’s budget this year is about seven percent higher than its 2017 annual allocation.

Escalante recalled that there were delays in the approval of some appropriation ordinances of other cities and municipalities before due also to technicalities.

He said the Local Finance Committee composed of provincial treasurer, planning officer, and budget officer already had a conference with the municipal budget officer and administrator of Moises Padilla.

In fact, they were even willing to withdraw the proposed ordinance, but since it was already submitted to the Provincial Board then they shall have it passed again by the Municipal Council during their next session, Escalante said.

“There is no question as to how they constitute the budget, the only problem is they are short of the number of members who voted,” Escalante said, adding that they can use their reenacted budget for the meantime pending the approval of the Provincial Board.