Council in dilemma after DBM junks SB
Kristine B. Quintas/JMD (The Freeman) - February 19, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - “Are we ready for a reenacted budget?”

Cebu City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. threw the query to the council yesterday after the Department of Budget and Management-7 declared inoperative the P241.51 million Supplemental Budget No. 2 of the city government.

DBM has declared inoperative P241.52 million out of the P243.72 million approved budget in the general fund under the SB-2, which includes the P30.25-million reversion of accounts payable in 2011 and P211.27-million retained operating surplus in 2013.

Meanwhile, P45.35 million in special accounts was found inoperative of the total approved P161.83 million.

DBM-7 director Carmela Fernan said both the identified SB-2 sources-retained operating surplus and the reversion of accounts payable failed to conform to Administrative Order 47, amending Article 417 of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code, which provides that “actual funds” can only be considered as SB fund source.

Fernan pointed out that the funds for the accounts payable should have been reverted back to the general fund in the event that the same are no longer enforceable or are waived/forfeited.

“Hence, the same are disqualified from being considered as sources of funds to support a supplemental budget,” she said.

In a privilege speech, Gabuya said: “With this finding, ma-affected ang delivery of basic services sa city. Dinhi ko naalarma. Naa pa gyud attitude ang mayor passing the blame to the City Council.”

To shed light on the matter, the City Council wants the Local Finance Committee to explain what will happen to the inoperative funds disbursed. Also, LFC is requested to provide a list of charges against SB-2 and project status.

The council set a public hearing on February 26 to tackle the matter, inviting the City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas, City Accountant lawyer Mark Salomon, City lawyer Gerone Castillo, Association of Barangay Councils and representative from DBM.

Also in a privilege speech, Councilor Sisinio Andales said he was alarmed over the unfavorable opinions of the Commission on Audit and DBM for Cebu City.

Among those he enumerated were the P84.4 million worth of calamity assistance distributed to city officials and more than 4,200 regular and casual employees, which the COA issued Notice of Disallowance and ordered for reimbursement and the P241.51-million inoperative SB-2.

“What have been the remedies done to address disallowances, inoperative budgets, among others?” he asked.

In a separate interview yesterday, Mayor Michael Rama stressed that the amount in SB-2 was not corrupted but went to a public purpose.

“For as long as there is no corruption. And there is no such thing as technical malversation. I don’t see any much of a problem. Is it a law? An opinion? So (declaring SB-2 inoperative) is not a law,” he said.

Last year, the council approved P243.7 million of the original proposal of P501.2 million; approved only P100,000 of the proposed P6 million allocation for intelligence funds; and approved P9,981,868 (of P25 million) city sponsored activities. — (FREEMAN)

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER ASSOCIATION OF BARANGAY COUNCILS CARMELA FERNAN CEBU CITY CEBU CITY COUNCILOR EUGENIO GABUYA JR. CITY CITY ACCOUNTANT CITY COUNCIL CITY TREASURER DIWA CUEVAS MILLION
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