Baguio Council to start budget deliberations November 9

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The City Council will start the deliberations on the proposed P1.904 billion 2021 budget of the city government this November 9, 2020 until it is approved.

On October 26, 2020, the council approved on first reading the proposed ordinance appropriating the amount of P1.904 billion as the 2021 budget of the city government where the same will be derived from the various sources of income.

Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan said that the committee hearings for the proposed budgets of the different departments will be initially handed by the various council committees on their preferred dates.

He urged the department heads to prepare to defend their proposed budgets in the committee level to respond to any query from the councilors and to ensure the smooth conduct of deliberations when the proposed annual budget will be discussed by the city legislators during their upcoming formal sessions.

Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, local chief executives of cities, municipalities and provinces are mandated to submit the proposed annual budgets of local governments to their respective local legislative bodies for deliberations and approval prior to the implementation of the same.

Further, the local legislative bodies are still given at least 90 days in the following year to approve the proposed budget once the same will not be approved during the current year. Once the budget will not be approved within the prescribed period, the concerned local government will be operating on a re-enacted budget or the approved budget of the previous year.

Each of the council committees will be handling the various departments relevant to their concerns where the same shall make the necessary recommendations on the proposed budgets of the departments they subjected to committee hearings.

The council agreed to devote part of their time to deliberate on pressing issues and concerns that are being submitted to the body for immediate action while some of their time will be for deliberating the proposed annual budget of the city for next year.

The proposed city’s annual budget next year is some 15.54 percent lower than the approved P2.255 billion budget of the city government this year.

Olowan stated that the members of the Council will work double time to possibly pass the budget by next month in time for the signature of the city chief executive and its transmittal to the regional office of the budget department for review as part of the established rules and regulations, thus, the city legislators need the utmost cooperation of the department heads in the conduct of deliberations for the proposed annual budget next year.

Last year, the council approved the annual budget for this year in December after which the signing of the appropriation ordinance before the end of the year that voided the operation of a re-enacted budget and ensured the timely implementation of the funded priority development projects and the improvement of the delivery of basic services to the people living in the various barangays. By Dexter A. See