The Cebu City Council has failed to override the line veto of Mayor Tomas Osmeña on some items under the city’s approved P7.2 billion annual budget for this year.
During the council’s regular session yesterday afternoon, Councilor Jose Daluz III moved to override three of the 16 items under the annual budget that were the subject of the line veto message given by the mayor to the council.
The three provisions he would have wanted to override were on the hiring of job order personnel (JOs), the release of allowances to barangay workers and the release of allowances to barangay health workers (BHWs).
Daluz explained that under the approved annual budget, the council wanted that the requirements in the hiring of JOs for offices and departments, projects, programs and special bodies under the mayor’s office be submitted to the city council first for approval.
“The reason for putting up this provision is to emphasize that before JOs can be hired, there should already be a local project authorized by the
Sanggunian. This is in compliance with Section 77 of the Local Government Code,” Daluz told the council.
As for the releasing of allowances to barangay workers like tanods, garabage collectors, street sweepers, lupong tagapamayapa, barangay environment officers (BEOs) and BHWs, Daluz said the council wanted that these workers will have appointment papers duly signed by the concerned barangay captain.
He pointed out that under the Local Government Code, the barangays serve as the primary planning and implementing unit of the government.
“We wanted to make sure that the aid to barangay is really going to barangay workers. We know that barangays are vulnerable to political pressure. That’s why we want to make sure that we are aiding the barangays,” Daluz explained.
But the move to override the three items did not get enough support from other council members.
Only nine councilors from the majority bloc voted for the override. The other seven voted against it.
Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella explained that the council needed votes of at least two-thirds of the entire number of council members in order to override the mayor’s veto. He said they needed at least 12 votes.
Only Councilor Dave Tumulak was not around, out of the 17 city councilors, during yesterday’s session.
In his veto message dated December 23, Osmeña said the three items were irregular and ultra-vires or beyond the powers and duties of the city council.
Among the other provisions vetoed by the mayor were the provision that the P138 million budget for drugs and medicines will be used exclusively for the city’s hospitalization and medicines program (CHAMP); the need for council approval of the rental of heavy equipment and other machineries; and the defunding of the budget of all vacant positions in the city government.
He also vetoed the council’s move to only allocate P1 on the local economic investment program and the budget for the food expenses of the Cebu City Jail.