Council ready to approve P2.255 billion budget

BAGUIO CITY – The city legislative body expressed its willingness to approve the proposed P2.255 billion annual budget of the city government next year once the executive branch shall have submitted the details where the excess funds will be appropriated.

Last Monday, the city legislative body was supposed to approve the annual budget of the city but the sudden reduction on the proposed budget of the city’s hosting of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) from the previous P15.5 million to more or less P10 million created the presence of some P5 million unallocated funds that must be provided with items to fund, thus, the approval of the budget was deferred to allow the executive branch to identify the projects that will be funded by the excess funds.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong informed city legislators that upon consultations with the members of the city finance committee, the items that will be funded by the P5 million excess from the earlier proposed CARAA budget will be identified and subsequently submitted to the city legislative body on or before December 16, 2019 to warrant the approval of the city’s annual budget.

The city legislative body previously conducted a number of special sessions to deliberate on the proposed budgets of each of the departments of the city government before it was submitted for the approval of the same during last Monday’s regular session.

Earlier, both the executive and city legislative branches of the city government agreed to increase the annual budget of the city next year from the proposed P2.230 billion to P2.255 billion wherein the additional P15 million will cover the expenses that will be incurred during the city’s hosting of the CARAA, a mandatory regional athletic competition while the P10 million will serve as the seed money for the city’s college educational financial assistance program that will be contained in an ordinance that was eventually approved on third and final reading.

The city legislative body assured that once that the breakdown of the items that will be funded by the P5 million excess budget shall have been identified, the proposed annual budget will be approved, including the city’s annual investment plan (AIP) where all the priority projects that will be provided funding will be contained.

Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, local legislative bodies are allowed to deliberate on the proposed annual budgets of local governments even beyond the current year but only for the first 90 days of the following year wherein no other items will be deliberated until such time that the budget will be approved by virtue of an ordinance that will be passed.

While local legislative bodies will be deliberating on the annual budgets of local governments beyond the current year, the concerned local government will be operating on a re-enacted budget for the first 90 days of the following year but once the proposed annual budget of the concerned local government will not be approved after the lapse of the 90-day period, the local government will be operating on a re-enacted budget for the whole year.

The city legislative body is inclined to approve the proposed annual budget of the city so as not to interrupt the services of workers employed on a casual status./Dexter A. see