BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-CAR) declared as inoperative a number of ordinances passed by the city government, including the grant of cash incentives for nonagenarians, as these measures did not pass the prescribed processes.
DBM-CAR regional director Irene Gahid informed city officials that aside from disallowing the grant of cash incentives for nonagenarians, some of the funded projects of the city government were also disallowed because there are no funds actually available.
She pointed out that the city government did not submit any supplemental budget No. 1 to the agency for review, thus, the submitted supplemental budget No. 2 shall be considered as 2019 supplemental budget No. 1.
The DBM-CAR official claimed the city government informed the agency that supplemental budget No. 1 was covered by 4 separate ordinances but perusal of the aforesaid ordinances show the reversion of funds and the re-appropriation of the same to the other programs, projects and activities in the same ordinances.
According to her, Section 321 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7160, states that changes in the annual budget may be done through the enactment of an ordinance for a supplemental budget supported by funds actually available as certified by the local treasurer or by new revenue sources, and in times of public calamity, by way of sub-budgetary realignment.
Further, she noted that pursuant to Section 354 of RA 7160, the budget operations manual for local government units, as circularized by Local Budget Circular No. 112, prescribed that an appropriation ordinance authorizing a supplemental budget shall clearly indicate the source of fund available for appropriation, the items of appropriations affected, and the reasons for change.
Likewise, the budget operations manual for local governments suggested a format authorizing supplemental appropriations.
Gahid explained that although the 4 ordinances submitted by the city government may be non-compliant as to form, the said ordinances complied with the essential contents of an appropriation ordinance, but in adherence to Section 321 of RA 7160, a single appropriation ordinance consolidating the 4 ordinances should have been enacted to authorize the supplemental budget of the city.
She revealed that a check of the 2019 annual investment plan of the city showed the programs, projects and activities under the assailed ordinances have been excluded and also, the city did not submit any supplemental annual investment plan to cover the prescribed projects under the said measures.
The city legislative body decided to call for an executive session with members of the city finance committee and the concerned departments to discuss the possible remedies that will be adopted by the city government to convince the budget department to lift the declaration as inoperative a number of ordinances that were enacted, including the grant of cash incentives for nonagerians.
By Dexter A. See