February 11, 2007

LC 2007 budget still unapproved
City gov’t to make do with reenacted budget

Laoag City budget officer Carlina Cumigad formally made the announcement that the city government would have to make do with a reenacted budget for the meanwhile as they wait for the passage and approval of the proposed 2007 annual budget by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The budget proposal was submitted to the city council on October 16, 2006 and was P4 million more compared to the 2006 budget.

The council has started conducting budgetary hearing on January 18 and 19, with the allocation for the City Engineer’s Office tackled first. The hearings continue as of press time.

Meanwhile, Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas instructed his secretary to advise the council secretariat about existing laws relative to the passage of the annual budget as he stressed that the sanggunian should only focus on the budget approval and nothing else.

During the last regular session of the council on January 24, only the ordinance approving the 2007 annual budget was calendared. The said session however was adjourned due to a lack of quorum.

Below the agenda, a letter of the mayor dated January 23 was stated. The said letter cited Section 323 of the Local Government Code, to wit:

“Section 323. Failure to Enact the Annual Appropriations. In case the sanggunian concerned fails to pass the ordinance authorizing the annual appropriations at the beginning of the ensuing fiscal year it shall continue to hold session, without additional renumeration for its members, until such ordinance is approved, and no other business may be taken up during such sessions. If the sanggunian still fails to enact such ordinance after ninety (90) days from the beginning of the fiscal year, the ordinance authorizing the appropriations of the preceding year shall be deemed reenacted and shall remain in force and effect until the ordinance authorizing the proposed appropriations is passed by the sanggunian concerned.”

Records show that the 2005 annual budget was approved on March 22, 2005 while the 2006 budget was approved on April 10, 2006.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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