Labella seeks DBM view on budget row
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/FPL (The Freeman) - January 7, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City acting mayor Edgardo Labella is seeking the guidance of the Department of Budget and Management on what budget the city government should utilize amid a conflicting position between him and the City Council on the validity of the approval of the 2016 Annual Appropriation Ordinance.

Labella said it is the DBM that has the authority to review budget ordinances of any local government unit.

“As I said, ato g’yud barogan ang atong position that it has not complied with the requirement under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code and the DBM Circular, that without action neither veto nor approval, I have to bring the entire budget ordinance for review together with my observations as contained in my letter address to the City Council,” he said.

Labella sent a follow-up letter to the City Council reiterating his position that the approval of the P6.4 billion 2016 Annual Budget was not valid for lack of the required votes.

He reiterated his position after the majority of the councilors insisted that the budget was valid and should be utilized by the city government. The acting mayor first communicated to the Council on January 7.

Labella cited Article 107 paragraph (g) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code of 1991 which provides that; “no ordinance or resolution passed by the sanggunian in a regular or special session duly called for the purpose shall be valid unless approved by a majority of the members present, there being a quorum. Any ordinance or resolution authorizing or directing the payment of money or creating liability, shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all the sangguniang members for its passage.”

Labella said such provision was amplified by the DBM Budget Operations Manual for Local Government Units as sanctioned by the DBM Local Budget Circular No. 2008-90 dated 01 September 2008.

The circular provides that “the proposed Appropriation Ordinance shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all the sanggunian members (that is, 50 percent plus one) for its passage (Article 107 (g) IRR of R.A. No. 7160).”

Labella said he is of the position that, under the rules, since there are eighteen members of the Sanggunian Panlungsod of the City of Cebu who have been duly elected and qualified as members, the subject budget ordinance should have been passed by the affirmative vote of at least 10 members. There were only nine members voted to pass the budget.

Labella also rejected the statement of Councilor Sisinio Andales that the budget ordinance is deemed approved because he failed to act on it within the prescribed period.

Labella said he received the budget ordinance last December 23 and he sent communication to the City Council on December 29, which is just within the 10-day period to act on the budget.

“If I would veto, it means that I recognized that there was a valid enactment but it has been my consistent position that there was no valid enactment because of the absolute majority requirement,” he said.

In the meantime, Labella said the city government will use part of the P13.4 billion budget in 2015 as mandated under the Local Government Code. (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE ANNUAL BUDGET APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE BUDGET CITY CITY COUNCIL GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE LABELLA ORDINANCE
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