Archival ‘resubmits’ SB-2 DBM initially declined

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM (The Freeman) - January 27, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines -  Cebu City acting vice mayor Nestor Archival has “resubmitted” to the Department of Budget and Management last year’s Supplemental Budget “2” after the body refused to review it because of the non-submission of Supplemental Budget-1.

As mandated under the government’s budgeting process, the DBM also reviews the annual and supplemental budgets of provinces, and highly urbanized cities like Cebu City.

In a January 11-letter to Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, however, DBM Director IV Carmela Fernan said they did not review the P201-million SB-2 since their department has not received yet the P2.8-billion Supplemental Budget-1, which the City Council has not acted upon.

SB-1 is the subject of a case filed by one Romulo Torres that is currently being heard by the Court of Appeals.

While it did not act on SB-1, the City Council passed SB-2 last December 7, which was why SB-2 was submitted to the DBM for review.

 “As a matter of procedure, this office cannot pursue the review of the FY 2015 SB No. 2 until FY 2015 SB No. 1 is submitted and reviewed first. In this connection, the former (SB-1) is hereby returned without review action with the suggestion to resubmit the same together together with SB. No. 1,” Fernan said in her letter, which City Councilor Noel Wenceslao presenting in a privilege speech during their regular session yesterday.

SB-2 contains the allocation for the P30,000 cash incentive for each of the regular and casual employees of City Hall, and P40 million as payment for the city’s garbage collection and tipping fee for 2015.

Wenceslao said he was prompted to deliver a privilege speech since Fernan’s letter, which he got wind from Labella, was not included in the agenda of yesterday’s session.

“This representation is puzzled. How would we respond to the letter of DBM returning SB No. 2, or what would be the effect of DBM’s inaction as far as SB 2 is concern?” he said.

City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, council committee on budget and finance chief, however, told him that SB-2 Archival already resubmitted SB-2 to DBM last January 26 after they spoke with Fernan last week.

 “In our discussions (with Fernan), we explained that SB-1 was not approved. Therefore, it became a numerical issue. Meaning there is only one supplemental budget that was approved in 2015, although it was noted as SB-2 because it was the second SB submitted by the executive office,” she said.

In a January 22 letter, Archival also wrote Fernan informing her that there was only one SB that the City Council approved in 2015.

“It (SB-2) technically became (the only)) supplemental budget. Period. Because it (SB-2) was the only one for 2015 that was approved,” Osmeña said.

She said that after hearing this, Fernan accepted back “SB-2” last for DBM to review.

“That is why it (Fernan’s January 11 letter) is not in the agenda today. I just want to make that very clear because of course we share the same concern and what we did was we immediately went to the DBM and it (SB-2) is officially endorsed back to the DBM which they received,” she said. — (FREEMAN)

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