Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bursar laments budget snafu in Dagupan

By Mortz C. Ortigoza SAN CARLOS CITY – The stalemate between the warring executive and legislative bodies in Dagupan City on 2012 budget did not escape the prying eyes of a veteran bursar here. Arturo Mandapat, who used to be the treasurer of this city and Urbiztondo town, deplored the delay in the approval of the 2012 proposed budget of P581 million for Dagupan, which should have been approved as provided by law in the second semester of last year. “As I saw on TV the budget hearing of Dagupan, I sensed that it was only City Administrator Vladimir Mata who was prepared to argue with the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. I felt sorry for the department heads who were sometimes at a loss or were groping in the dark when they were grilled by the SP (members),” he said. Mandapat said the passage of the budget starts when heads of departments or offices submit a budget proposal for his department or office of the mayor on or before the 15th of July of each year,” Mandapat said. “Upon receipt of the statements of income and expenditures from the treasurer, the budget proposals of the head of departments and offices, and estimates of income and budgetary ceilings from the local finance committee, the mayor shall prepare the executive budget for the ensuing fiscal year in accordance with the provisions of this on the Local Government Code “Mandapat quoted Section 318 of the Code. Mandapat said that in case the SP of Dagupan fails to enact the proposed budget within 90 days from the start of the official working day in January 2012, the ordinance authorizing the appropriations of the previous 2011 fiscal year shall be reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the ordinance authorizing the proposed appropriations is passed by the SP. He explained that the budget has three components namely, personal services, material operating expenditures, and capital outlay. He said development projects like roads and buildings are included in the capital outlay. But because there is no approved 2012 budget, development projects like these could not be implemented unless proposed and approved in 2012. “However, only the annual appropriations for salaries and wages of existing positions, statutory and contractual obligations, and essential operating expenses authorized in the annual and supplemental budgets in 2011 shall be reenacted and disbursement of funds shall be in accordance there,” Mandapat explained

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