The Provincial Government of Davao Oriental is currently facing challenges as the budget for 2024 has yet to receive approval, according to Governor Niño Sotero L. Uy Jr.
Uy expressed his concern about the pending budget in a live video on the official Facebook page of the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental on Tuesday afternoon, January 2, 2024.
He noted that the Vice Governor, Nelson Dayanghirang Jr., and the majority of the provincial board members, particularly the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, failed to pass the annual budget before the end of the previous year.
Despite the urgency, Uy emphasized that there has been no legislative action taken to address the situation.
He explained that as of January 2, 2024, the budget is still awaiting approval in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and no documents have been submitted to the mayor’s department regarding the budget.
“And now it is right to say nga wala ta'y pondo [we do not have a budget] for the year 2024 being enacted. I am telling you this because I want everybody to know the state of the province,” Uy said.
Based on the Republic Act (RA) 7160: Local Government Code of 1991, “On or before the end of the current fiscal year, the sanggunian concerned shall, through an ordinance, the annual budget of the local government unit for the ensuing fiscal year based on the estimates of income and expenditures submitted by the local chief executive.”
He said that the budget was submitted on October 16, 2023, and despite efforts to communicate with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, no official requests were made for the necessary documents.
A meeting he organized on December 13, 2023, failed to reach a quorum, delaying the approval process.
Despite the submission, no official documents or resolutions regarding the budget were received by the mayor's department.
A letter from Rochie Ravelo, Board member, and chair of the Committee on Finance, called for department heads' participation in a budget hearing, but Uy noted that this was the only form of communication from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) emphasized the need for the budget to be approved before the year-end to qualify for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).
However, during a session on December 29, 2023, the motion to discuss the annual budget for 2024 was not approved.
“We should discuss because this is our obligation obligated by the law that we have to enact an annual budget whether favorable or not favorable you have to pass a law that would authorize the budget,” Uy said.
Uy expressed his frustration at the lack of success in obtaining approval despite their efforts, leaving him with the task of seeking guidance from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
He highlighted the urgency of the situation due to the absence of a budget resolution, ordinance, or document from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Meanwhile, Dayanghirang stated in a Facebook post that the Sanguniang Panlalawigan conducted its third special session on December 29, 2023, and planned to deliberate on the Annual Budget for 2024 in the 79th regular session on January 3, 2024. RGP