Freeman Metro Cebu

JVR assails City Council over delay in budget approval

Gabriel Bonjoc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The Talisay City Council to this date has not yet passed the 2016 annual budget, amounting to P823 million, as proposed by Mayor Johnny de los Reyes, since October last year.

JVR, lamenting on the delay of the budget approval, said the city services have been affected and blamed the City Council for giving him a hard time in providing service to the Talisaynons.

Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante however clarified that the services of the city has not been affected, despite the non-approval of the budget yet, because the city mayor has all the capacity to use the re-enacted budget.

For the past month, the Council called for a series of meetings to tackle the proposed budget but there were instances that the department heads could not attend for some reasons and same was true to the majority of the councilors who are members of the Alayon Party.

Last week, the Council invited JVR to appear in its session to justify his proposed budget but the latter only sent his representative.

Villarante said there was no truth on the spiels of the mayor that the basic services was already affected due to the non-approval of the 2016 budget. “JVR is only polluting the minds of the people,” he said.

The truth of the issue is that the city government is still providing basic services, with the mayor using last year’s budget on salary of the employees, tax collectors, and garbage, among others. The city used the re-enacted budget of last year in paying for the electricity, water bills, vehicles registration and others.

Councilor Edward Alesna, chairman of committee on budget and appropriations, added that the Council would approve the 2016 annual budget before the end of March.

Alesna, along with the members of the Alayon, said they did not intentionally delay the approval of the budget because they were only doing their function as fiscalizers, making sure the funds will be used wisely.

For the past year, JVR spent the government funds unnecessarily such as hiring “excessive” number of job order workers who were not needed however, with a warning from the Commission on Audit to refrain from doing so. (FREEMAN NEWS)


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