ILOILO CITY APPROVES P2.3-B BUDGET FOR 2019
The Sangguniang Panlungsod approves Iloilo City’s PHP2.318 billion 2019 budget during its last session for the year on Wednesday (December 12, 2018). (Photo by Perla Lena)
ILOILO CITY — The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) approved on Wednesday afternoon Iloilo City’s 2019 Executive Budget amounting to PHP2,31 billion.
However, instead of approving a lump sum budget for offices at the City Hall, Councilor Plaridel Nava II, who is also chair of the SP committee on appropriations, recommended an itemized budget, detailing particular projects for every amount stated in the proposal.
“I want people to understand, I want my fellow councilors to understand where the budget will go, how it will be utilized,” he said.
Also, he made sure that only one half of the approved budget will be released during the first semester covering the January to June period and the remaining 50 percent during the second semester.
“We split it into two and we placed the bigger budget for July to December,” he said, adding that the Local Finance Committee has to abide by what is mandated by the ordinance.
He said the council, having the “power of the purse”, has the discretion where to use the money.
“That’s part of the check and balance,” he said, so the budget they passed is not subject to abuse.
Except for the disapproved PHP200,000 allocation for the Local Youth Development Office (LYDO), the budget was passed with only one objection out of 14 councilors, including Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation chairman and president of Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC).
Nava said the LYDO has to settle its differences with the SK as the Federation chair complains of overlapping of functions.
Of the approved budget, PHP1,303,479,277 will be taken from local taxes; PHP1,005,714,415 from the Internal Revenue Allotment share and PHP10 million from the share in the economic zone.
The local council also approved the PHP77,172,543 budget of the Local Economic and Enterprise Office.
Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, in registering his objection, said that there are allocations that were split such that one half will be used for the first six months and the remaining amount in the last six months.
“I’m very sure the mayor will veto the ordinance. Mayor has his own ways to solve the problems. Our rules in budget and government accounting allows the mayor to veto the ordinance,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SP may call for a special session next week to approve a supplemental budget containing the Performance Enhancement Incentive and the Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA) of regular city hall employees.
Last Monday, Mayor Jose Espinosa III announced that he wanted each employee to have PHP25,000 for their CNA.
However, the guaranteed budget was only at PHP18,000 per employee on the said date.
He ordered the City Budget Office to look for other sources of funds to reach the PHP25,000 target.
The Local Finance Committee was not able to submit the documents in Wednesday’s last session day of the SP.
However, Nava assured that they will convene next week to act on the supplemental budget.
“We cannot afford to deprive our regular employees because they deserve that,” he said. (PNA)