Rama: No papers, no 2013 budget

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Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama won’t sign the 2013 budget ordinance until he’s furnished a complete copy of the papers for his review.

In yesterday’s noontime press conference, Mayor Rama said he was interested in seeing the breakdown of the P1.5 billion which the City Council cut from his P6.7 billion budget proposal.

The council dominated by former allies of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan

(BO-PK) only approved a P5.2 billion budget this year. Rama said the papers presented to him were incomplete.

“Hence, the 10 day period for it to lapse into law will commence only until such time the complete ordinance will be forwarded to the office of the undersigned,” Rama said in a Jan. 4 letter to City Council Secretary Cynthia Kahulugan.

Rama said he, his consultants and allies are now reviewing the approved budget.

He said he doesn’t rule out issuing a partial veto on the 2013 budget ordinance to especially oppose the P1.5 billion cut.

Rama also issued a partial veto of the 2012 budget ordinance after the council only approved P5.3 billion of his P11 billion budget request.

Councilor Margot Osmeña, the council’s budget committee chairperson, said in an earlier interview that the P1.5 billion reduction in the approved budget is mostly from capital outlay.

She said the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) still has close to P300 million worth of infrastructure projects that are already funded but have yet to be implemented and so there’s no rush to issue new appropriations.

Osmeña said new projects may be funded in supplemental appropriations during the later part of the year.

Engr. Joel Reston of DEPW told the council in last year’s budget hearing that they have so far bidded out P60 million of the P355 million worth of projects funded in the 2012 Annual Investment Plan.

Of the P355 million worth of AIP projects, only P237 million worth of these are already covered with a Program of Works and Estimates (POWE).

Rama said the city always welcomes new projects. He said implementation should no longer be the council’s concern.

“What they passed was not my budget,” he said.

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