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Cebu News

Garcia: Dumanjug’s 2016 budget illegal

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Gamaliel Garcia has questioned the approval of his town’s 2016 annual budget because the Municipal Council allegedly did not have a quorum when the budget ordinance was passed.

Garcia said the Municipal Council passed the annual budget on October 30, 2015 while he was still serving his six months suspension. According to him, the approval was “absolutely illegal, null and void”.

He said there were only five members of the Municipal Council present during the approval instead of six since the total number of the members of the body is 10, including eight regular members, one president of the Association of Barangay Councils as ex-officio member and one Vice Mayor as the presiding officer.

Garcia cited Section 53 of the Local Government Code which provides that a majority of all the members of the council who have been elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum to transact official business.

A quorum exists when one-half of the members plus one are present at a council session.

“I cannot and will not implement a budget that is illegal, null and void from the beginning. I am enclosing a copy of that letter to the Honorable Sangguniang Panlalawigan for its information and consideration,” he stated in his letter sent to the Provincial Board, which reviews the appropriation ordinance of the municipality.

He said he would be proposing again another budget for 2016. Sought for comment, Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica refuted, saying there was actually a quorum.

He explained that the legislative body was composed only of nine members that time because he was sitting as acting mayor of the town following Garcia’s suspension.

Since there were only nine council members, the needed quorum was only five, including the presiding officer, he said.

He added that the four members all voted for the passage of the budget, thus, it is legal. Garcia was suspended by the Provincial Board, which is dominated by the Liberal Party, for six months for grave abuse of authority. Garcia belongs to the opposition One Cebu Party.

“I can only hope and pray, this time, when we are facing an election, the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) of the Province of Cebu will give meaning and substance to the mantra of “Daang Matuwid” if the Liberal Party… that in the discharge of theirpowers and functions, they should act “with justness and sincerity, without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference,” Garcia said.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ASSOCIATION OF BARANGAY COUNCILS DAANG MATUWID DUMANJUG MAYOR NELSON GAMALIEL GARCIA GARCIA HONORABLE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN LIBERAL PARTY LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE MEMBERS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL PROVINCIAL BOARD
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