Council to cut budget proposal

IN today’s regular session, the majority bloc of the Talisay City Council is set to slash the mayor’s proposed annual budget worth P823 million to only P638 million, something the official is expecting to happen.

Among the items that may be reduced is the mayor’s P10-million intelligence fund, which may go down to only P50,000.

In an interview, Mayor John V. de los Reyes threatened to veto the reduced budget if approved today.

Based on a document provided by the council secretariat to reporters yesterday, the council’s majority bloc, mostly composed of Alayon Party members, agreed to cut around P185 million from the proposed 2016 annual budget, including the mayor’s confidential funds.

But aside from the mayor’s intelligence funds, more than P100 million worth of appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses in different departments, including the mayor’s office and the city administrator’s office, were reduced to zero.

Appropriations that were reduced to zero include maintenance and other operating expenses for the mayor’s office for advertising expenses worth P600,000; subscription expenses for city’s local Commission on Audit (COA) worth P10,000; consultancy expenses for the SP worth P550,000; special activities worth P10 million; and honorarium for workers in different departments worth P22 million.

But appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses for other purposes, such as subscription expenses in the office of the city administrator and SP and miscellaneous expenses under the Mayor’s Office were reduced significantly.

Non-office expenditures, including aids to historical and cultural activities, revenue and generation collection enforcement, stray dog prevention, housing board maintenance, clean and green activities, youth, sports and development and offices such as the Talisay Sports Commission and Public Employment Services Office (Peso) were reduced to zero.

But other non-office expenditures, such as financial aid to the barangays, and aid to urban poor and offices such, as the Office of the Senior Citizens Association (Osca) were also reduced significantly.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the side of Talisay City councilor Edward Alesna, who chairs the committee on budget and finance, but calls to his cellular phone were not answered.

Talisay City Councilor and majority floor leader Richard Francis Aznar refused to comment on the matter, saying he is not privy to the deliberation of the annual budget.

De los Reyes said he expected the majority bloc’s action. But he warned the councilors he won’t sign its approval.

De los Reyes said he would rather have the city under a “reenacted budget” than receive a reduced one.

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