Baguio to operate on re-enacted budget this year

BAGUIO CITY – The city government will temporarily operate on a re-enacted budget at the start of this year while the City Council body is winding up its deliberations on the city’s proposed P2.059 billion city for 2018.

The councilors were not able to pass the proposed 2018 annual budget during their last regular session on December 18, 2017 due to various issues raised on the implementation of the local government’s priority programs and projects funded by the proposed budget so they decided to continue the budget deliberations starting January 8, 2018.

Each of the councilors wound up their committee hearings for the proposed budgets of the different departments assigned to them and the same budgets are now being deliberated en banc before final approval.

Under the provisions of the Local Government Code, the local legislative body is given a 90-day period to approve the proposed budget for the calendar year once it was not able to enact the necessary appropriation ordinance during the previous year and it is barred from discussing any other item until the budget shall have been approved.

The annual budget of the city in 2017 was P1.778 billion while the proposed budget for 2018 approximately P2.059 billion to include appropriations for personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses, capital outlay, local disaster risk reduction and management fund among others.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan remains optimistic that the City Council will pass the city’s annual budget within the prescribed 90-day grace period so that the programmed priority development projects can be implemented on time.

If the proposed budget is not passed in such time, the Mayor claimed the executive department will allocate the funds in the re-enacted budget, something he does not want to happen because he wants local officials to be involved in the identification of the city’s priority projects through the approved budget this year.

The approved budget of the city will reviewed by the Cordillera office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-CAR) within another 90-day period if the allocation of funds conforms with existing budget circulars issued by the higher authorities.

The DBM-CAR is mandated to render its observations on the approved annual budget of the local government whether it will be operative or there is a need for some adjustments to align them to existing budget circulars and other issuances.

Domogan emphasized the delayed enactment of the city’s annual budget will translate to delays in the bidding and implementation of the programmed priority projects and the improvement in the delivery of basic services to the people this year.

He called on the residents to understand the delayed implementation of the city’s priority developed projects because of the delayed approval of the proposed annual budget this year but the local government will try its best to remedy the situation as soon as the budget will be passed by the local legislative body.

By Dexter A. See

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