BAGUIO CITY – Members of the City Council agreed to devote its remaining regular sessions on December 11 and 18, 2017 for the deliberation of the city’s proposed P2.05 billion annual budget to allow concerned departments to be ready to answer clarificatory questions related to the increased annual appropriations.
The local legislators also agreed that in case the devoted dates will not be sufficient to warrant the approval of the proposed city annual budget, the local legislative boy will be holding as many special sessions that will be required until such time that the budget will be passed before the end of the year.
While awaiting the schedule of the formal budget deliberations, each of the local legislators asked to hear the budget of the different departments can continue conducting the necessary budget hearings to resolve various issues arising from the proposed budgets of their departments to prevent further delays in the full blown deliberations in the coming weeks.
Local legislators want the city’s annual budget to be enacted before the end of the year so that the local legislative body will be allowed to deliberate on important city concerns right at the start of the year.
Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, city, municipal and provincial legislative bodies are given 90 days from the start of the succeeding year to formally enact their annual budgets and will be barred from including in their order of business other matters aside from the enactment of the budget. If the budget will not be enacted during the provided grace period, the local government will operate in a so-called re-enacted budget wherein the budget of the previous year will be used to bankroll the operations of the concerned local government.
Earlier, the council deferred acting on the proposed budgets of certain departments in the city primarily because of the need for the local finance committee to adjust the proposed income statement considering that the funds to be generated from the implementation of the revised schedule of market values for real properties have already been included in the city’s income next year when the local legislative body has not yet formally acted on the proposed tax ordinance.
Members of the City Council Committee on Appropriations and Finance will have to meet with the department heads comprising the local finance committee for them to decide on the appropriate income statement that will be used as a reference for the city’s 2018 annual budget to prevent the possible occurrence of a deficit that will not mean good for the management of finances by a highly urbanized city.
The council decided to forego its agenda on the aforesaid dates so that it will be the city’s proposed annual budget that will be subjected to deliberations for the clarification of various issues that will arise from the proposed budget of each of the departments.
By Dexter A. See