Rama signs SB2; spits fire on council anew
Tyranny and abuse of power.
This was how Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama described the City Council after the local legislative body slashed his proposed second tranche of the city’s supplemental budget (SB2) by more than half.
The mayor did not veto City Ordinance 2371 which gives life to SB2.
Yesterday, he returned City Ordinance 2371 or “An Ordinance Authorizing Supplemental Budget No. 2, series of 2013” to the City Council but with a letter expressing his dismay.
“Although with reservations on my part, I have affixed my signature on the said ordinance. Let it be emphasized, however, that my signature thereof should not be taken to mean that I am totally agreeable to the outcome of the budget ordinance,” Rama said.
Despite his disagreement with the City Council’s action, Rama decided to affix his signature because of the “urgency” of the matter.
The mayor asked for an additional P256 million appropriation but the City Council only approved P109 million, or 42 percent of the total amount.
Rama emphasized that the executive department submitted the proposed SB2 and certified it as “urgent and necessary” and that they scrutinized not only the funding source but also the expense items to be included in the proposed budget.
“The Council, through the committee on budget and finance, seems to have arrogated unto itself the executive power and prerogative to determine which expense items are necessary or not by the expedient yet arbitrary selection of the expense items to be reduced and/or obliterated even if, to the Executive Department, these are all vital expense items that matters most,” Rama said. He said they are fully aware of the legal requirement that all supplemental budgets are to be supported by funds actually available as certified by the local treasurer or by new revenue sources.
He added that the “determined effort” of some members of the City Council to reduce the proposed budget “seems to get the better of them, making them believe they are far better experts on financial matters.” “I believe this should have guided the members of the City Council and should have prodded them to give even just a little benefit of the doubt on the budget proposal. For truly, this is what matters most, whether or not we will be able to pay the obligations when they are due,” Rama said. /Jose Santino Bunachita, Correspondent
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