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.

1 comment:

  1. Last week I bumped with Councilor Joselito “Jigs” Seen of Dagupan City. Jigs, the chairman of the Finance Committee, disputed my recent article that the Dagupan City government can use up to 100 percent of the Calamity Fund without anymore asking the imprimatur of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).
    He said that Republic Act 10121 ("An Act strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System”) said that every quarter of the year the chief executive should ask the permission of the SP how much it is going to spend.
    I quoted in my earlier article the statement of City Administrator Vlad Mata that the Lim Administration could not be sued with Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practice Acts after it released P13.1 million Calamity Fund as a result of Typhoon Juan in 2010.

    Seen also bared that the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 sent to the August Body by the executive was P581 million.
    He disagreed with some political kibitzers who said that because the SP – dominated by Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez and allies – failed to muster two-third votes to over ride the veto of Mayor Lim, the executive department reaped a windfall from the P487 million watered down version exacted by the council by going back to the reenacted P498 million 2010 budget.
    As you know my dear Procopio, the Lim Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 was P568 million.
    But even with the failure of the SP to over ride Lim’s veto, the mayor, according to Seen, was not able to use the reenacted 2010 budget.
    He said it was because of some offices like the City Tourism that were given a zero budget by the SP.
    Seen said that the P487 million revised 2011 budget was declared as legal by a memorandum from the Department of Budget & Management in Region 1 as based on its Budget Operation Manual for Local Government Unit.
    He said however that because of the series of supplemental budget he and his colleagues passed this year, the Lim Administration enjoyed a P575 million budget for 2011.