Fun continues in the 2012 Dagupan Bangus Festival as the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) abandoned its tough stance and passed the P10-million supplemental budget sought by the executive, at least P6.8 million of which will form part of the additional outlay to each of the 31 barangays for bangus industry promotion.
This was after representatives of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) made an assurance during an executive session between the majority and minority members of the SP, along with Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, that no law will be violated if the SP reverts P6.1 million in personnel savings for the first quarter this year.
Another P3.9 million that will bankroll the supplemental budget was to come from the reversion of the P3.9 budget surplus for year 2011.
The executive session, also attended by City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara and Ildefonso Calimlim, took two long hours behind close doors as the majority held on to its position that on personnel savings, priority appropriation should be for the benefits of employees as provided for in Section IV of City Ordinance 1975-2012 that put into effect the city budget of 2012.
But the majority, also behind the prodding of barangay captains who trooped to the SP session hall last Monday, finally gave in when a DBM official cited a provision of the law that does not prohibit a legislative body from reverting savings in personnel service for other purposes.
At least P3.1 million of the supplemental budget will finance the mobile garbage receptacles in 31 barangays.
The 31 barangays are also asking for another P7.75 million at P250,000 per barangay, to be used in tourism development and promotion and environmental enhancement.
But before the SP approved the reversion and the requested P10 million supplemental budget, Vice Mayor Fernandez went down from the chair to deliver a privilege speech, reiterating the majority’s previous position that personnel savings must be used for the same expense class as provided for in Section 336 of the Local Government Code.
Fernandez also explained that the delay in the approval of the supplemental budget was especially due to the fact that the P581 budget has just been approved.