Cebu News

Supplemental budget mess: BOPK dads fear veto - VM

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella believes that city councilors under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan refuse to make a decision regarding the P2.8 billion supplemental budget-1 as they fear that Mayor Michael Rama will use his power to veto.

Labella said ten councilors who are under the BOPK are just sitting on the budget proposal because they are possibly afraid that Rama would exercise his veto power once City Council would approve or disapprove the additional budget.

 “Let the process go through under the Local Government Code and send it back to the Office of the Mayor. If the mayor exer-cises its veto power, let the Council override it. If the Council cannot muster enough number to override the veto of the mayor, so be it. Let the rules of procedure, the provisions of the Local Government Code, be implemented,” he said.

Labella said the City Council needs 12 of 17 votes to override the veto message of the mayor.

There are only ten councilors under BOPK and seven members from Team Rama.

“Assuming that it cannot override the veto of the mayor, so let it be. Let the people decide on how the executive would implement the budget that it presented to the City Council,” Labella said, although clarifying that it may just be a possible reason.

“I am not saying that that’s one, I’m just saying that maybe. I’m just saying the process. What I’m telling is the process that after the budget is submitted by the executive, the executive has the prerogative to either veto it in full or line veto on certain items. Then, it goes back to the City council for deliberation. The Council has the power to override the veto of the mayor. If their concern is that they cannot override the veto of the ma-yor because it needs 2/3 votes in order to override the veto of the mayor. So, let it be,” he added.

Labella stressed that the City Council can also exercise its power to oversee the implementation of the budget.

“If they have some complaints or questions or insinuations or if they believe that there are some irregularities we have laws that will address it,” he said.

He said delivering pri-vilege speeches questioning items under the SB-1 is not the proper forum to resolve the matter.

Team Rama councilors have proposed for the fourth time to lift the suspension of the discussion of SB-1, but were all rejected by BOPK councilors.

Yesterday, Mayor Rama made a public declaration calling for the approval of the additional budget.

“If they are not sensitive enough, then I take for and in behalf of the people of Cebu, parens patriae, I move for the approval of my supplemental budget. I am making that declaration now. I move for the appro-val of my or the executive budget, and I am representing the people of Cebu City,” he said.

Rama said the BOPK councilors are “skirting the real issue” through delivering privilege speeches questioning items under the additional budget.

“I’ve seen them trying to skirt the issue and they are running away from the reality. They are showing cowardice because bravery can be manifested just act on the supplemental budget,” he said.

He said members of the City Council should approve or disapprove SB-1.

“They might get into trouble in due time and that will bring them to be legally answerable. The mayor is just being patient. I’m not around to be suing,” he added.

The BOPK councilors, for one, questioned the “alarming” increase of garbage generation and collection in the city.

Last year, City Councilor Nida Cabrera said the city collected only 67,000 tons of garbage with only P60 million budget for the garbage tipping fee.

For this year, the City Council approved over P101 million for garbage tipping fee. Cabrera said the city has already collected 122,000 tons of garbage from January to October.

Cabrera, City Council’s committee on environment head, questioned the executive department’s solid waste reduction program with the “alarming and questionable” increase of collected garbage.

However, Janeses Ponce, the city’s Solid Waste Management Board Chairman, said the closure of Inayawan Landfill on January 15 is one of the reasons why the city’s garbage collection has increased.

“Nisaka ang atong basura because ni maayo atong collection sa basura. Number two, we have closed the landfill. Ergo, natarong na nato og kuha ang mga basura.  The garbage that used to go to the landfill are now being measured and weighed and transported to Consolacion,” he said.

Ponce said the city does not have yet a baseline data to record the actual volume of garbage produced and generated by the establishments, houses, and the city government itself.

“Should we be alarmed nga ni-increase ang collection or should we be more alarmed if there is a sudden decrease in the garbage? For every garbage that we collect means that the less garbage that ends up in our ri-vers, esteros and the coastlines. So, nakolekta nato,” he added. (FREEMAN)


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