Sunday, December 4, 2011
Less fireworks seen in budget approval
DAGUPAN CITY –Less fireworks are expected in the passage of the city budget this year.
Councilor Jigs Seen, chairman of committees on finance, trade and industry, told the Regional Examiner on Wednesday that some “adjustments” will just have to be made in the review process before the approval of the 2012 city budget.
“We have to make sure that proper procedure is observed in the approval of the new budget and that public interest is well served,” he said.
Thus, he added, cooperation between the mayor’s office and those under it and the Sangguniang Panlungsod is vital in coming up with a practical and realistic annual budget.
Mayor Benjamin Lim has proposed a P581-million budget for next year.
Seen said his committee is sending out requests for statements of receipts or income to concerned departments or agencies under the city government as required under the Budget Operations Manual for Local Government Units issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
He said the income notification from such pertinent departments as treasury, agriculture, veterinary, market division and licensing is critical in the determination of a realistic budget.
The annual budget was transmitted to the office of Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez last October 5, earlier than the prescribed Oct. 16 deadline set under Section 318 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
Although the city council is supposed to enact the annual budget on or before yearend as most local government units do, it has until March next year to make a decision.
Like last year, deliberations on the proposed annual budget will proceed in January or February after the celebration of the city fiesta, Seen said.
The perceived dilly-dallying by the city council in the approval of the 2011 annual budget heightened the friction between Lim and the vice mayor early this year.
Sparks flew even more when the P568-million 2011 budget proposed by the mayor was sliced down to only P487 million, or P11 million less than the previous year’s P498 million budget.
Lim lost no time in exercising partial veto to which the majority bloc of Fernandez was one vote short to override it.
Seen said that as per guidelines by the DBM, zero budgets were ruled out, implying that the P487-million budget as enacted by the city council stood.
However, he said, the city council upon request from the city mayor approved several supplemental budgets amounting to about P76 million approximately bringing to P563 million the city’s total expenditures for this year to date.
With the slight difference between the proposed P581- million budget and this year’s total expenditures, Seen foresees minor hitches before the city council makes a decision on the 2012 annual budget.
Under the proposed budget, Seen said about P255.835 million is earmarked for general services; P83.798 million for economic services; P162.548 million for social services; and P78.6 million for other services.
From total estimated revenue resources, five percent is set aside as calamity fund.
General public sectors include executive and legislative services, budgeting, treasury, accounting, administrative, general services
Social services include public education, maintenance, operation services, health and social welfare
Economic services include agriculture, veterinary, engineering services
The city also apportioned P42 million, which is the required amortization for the remaining balance of the city’s existing loan with the Land Bank of the Philippines of P161.5 million.