CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno has vetoed the insertion of P34 million by the City Council in the 2018 budget of the city.
In a letter addressed to the City Council and thru Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, Moreno noted that “under each Office of the Sanggunian Kagawads, a budget insertion was made under Other Maintenance and Operating Expenses-Committee Services from P1,137,360 to P3,137,360 each office (except SK Kagawad), or a total inserted appropriation of P34,000,000.”
According to City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., under the Updating Budget Operations Manual, it is the local chief executive who will “prepare the executive budget for the ensuing fiscal year upon receipt of the statements of income and expenditure from the treasurer, the budget proposals from the heads of various departments and offices and the estimates of revenue and budgetary ceilings from the Local Finance Committee.”
It was also stated in the Republic Act 7160 that “the responsibility of the annual and supplemental budgets and the accountability therefor shall be vested primarily in the local chief executive concerned.”
The mayor also reminded the City Council that "insertions, additions, deletions during budget deliberation are therefore, not within the legislative mandate of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council), except on insertions for statutory and mandatory obligations."
“Thus, we consider the foregoing insertions in the total amount of P34 million as inappropriate, without legal basis and not allowable. Hence, the same cannot be given any effect. Verily, we consider it as not written. For this reason, a veto of that portion is unnecessary. Needless to state, however, a supplemental budget can provide a good solution, subject to the usual budgetary process requirements,” Moreno, in his letter to the Council, said.
Lao, for his part, said they have no idea as to who exactly did the insertion of the P34 million in the annual budget.
During the budget deliberations last year, Moreno has proposed a P5.8 budget for 2018, however, according to City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., the City Council opted to reduce it to P5.5 billion.
"P5.8 billion tapos sinabi namin dahil sa nakikita namin na parang mataas ang projection nyang P5.8 billion, sinabi namin na dito lang tayo sa P5.5 billion so pumayag sila sa P5.5 billion (It was P5.8 billion but we noticed that it was a huge amount so we decided to lessen it to P5.5 billion)," Lao said.
The city councilor said the insertion of the P34 million happened when the budget calendar was given to the City Council for approval.
"Tapos na kasi yung budget deliberation, nailagay na sa calendar for approval ang budget, doon in-insert of which violation yun kasi hindi na pwedeng mag insert dahil naplantsa na, for approval na dapat yon (The budget deliberation is over, the budget is already placed in the calendar for approval, that's when the insertion happened of which it’s a violation, insertion is prohibited because it should be for approval)," Lao said.
Lao also mentioned that with the veto letter from the Moreno, the insertion of the P34 million in the 2018 budget will be “inoperational” or cannot be implemented.