Delayed OK of 2019 Makati budget worries village, SK execs | Inquirer News
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Delayed OK of 2019 Makati budget worries village, SK execs

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:05 AM January 22, 2019

Aside from the salary increase of over 10,000 city government workers, the budgets of 33 barangays and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chapters in Makati have become “unintended casualties” of the delayed approval of the city’s 2019 budget of P18.17 billion, a councilor said on Monday.

“Let me remind my colleagues in the city council who have been stonewalling the passage of the appropriation ordinance for the 2019 city budget that they are, in effect, causing major setbacks in the implementation of new projects at the barangay level, to the detriment of our constituents,” Councilor Armand Padilla said in a statement.

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Padilla, who is also president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, called for the setting aside of political differences “so as not to cause any more delay in the approval of budget that would put the welfare of the citizens at stake.”

He and four other minority council members who are aligned with Makati Mayor Abby Binay earlier called out their colleagues for “holding the city budget hostage.”

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Sibling rivalry

They were referring to the 12 opposition councilors who earlier defected from Binay’s camp and expressed their support for her brother, Junjun Binay. Both siblings are running for the city’s highest post in the May elections.

Majority floor leader Nemesio “King” Yabut Jr., one of the councilors being blamed for the “inordinate delay,” had denied the accusation, saying they were just exercising the council’s oversight function.

“For the meantime, the budget is deemed temporarily reenacted, providing for the continuation of wages and essential services,” he said.

Under the local government code, pending the approval of the city budget, no other matters, including barangay and SK budgets, may be taken up by the city council.

In 2016 and 2017, the city budget was approved either in November or in December. Although the city council met on Jan. 9 and 16 this year, it deferred taking action on the 2019 budget.

“The immediate passage of the appropriation ordinance is needed so we can start deliberations on barangay and SK budgets,” Padilla said.

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Protracted approval

“The protracted approval of the city budget has forced our barangays to operate on a reenacted budget, denying residents the added benefits offered by new, innovative projects planned for the year,” he added.

The proposed 2019 budget for the city’s 33 barangays is estimated at P1.7 billion.

Councilor Rodolfo San Pedro Jr., chair of the SK Federation of Makati who is also aligned with the incumbent mayor, also appealed to the opposition bloc.

Efforts all in vain

“Otherwise, all our efforts to put together innovative and high-impact projects for the benefit of our fellow youth in Makati will be in vain,” he said.

Aside from salaries, other personnel-related expenditures and utilities, each barangay budget has allocations for programs, projects and activities.

These include weight monitoring and feeding program for children, capability-building for barangay environmental police, clean-and-green initiatives, barangay outposts and closed-circuit television cameras, fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment.

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TAGS: Abby Binay, Abigail Binay, Armand Padilla, jejomar Erwin binay jr., Junjun Binay, Liga ng mga Barangay, Makati 2019 budget, Makati Sangguniang Kabataan chapters
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