Cebu City Legal: Passing of Supplemental Budget 1 legitimate
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) said the passing of Supplemental Budget No. 1 (SB1) is legitimate through the voting of a simple majority.
Councilor Franklyn Ong, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay and Kasambagan village chief, had questioned the legitimacy of the passing of the P4.5 billion supplemental budget last July 28, 2021.
He argued that under the house rules of the 15th Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP), an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Sanggunian is required to pass an ordinance and not the majority of the members present during the session constituting a quorum.
The City Council then sought the guidance of the City Legal Office (CLO) on the matter and on August 25, 2021, the CLO sent their opinion to the Council.
“Generally, enactment of ordinances and resolutions require an affirmative vote of a simple majority of the sangguniang members present in a meeting where a quorum is constituted. An exception to this is the enactment of ordinances or resolutions authoriating or directing the payment of money or creating a liability which shall require an affirmative vote of all sangguniang members duly elected and qualified…otherwise called as a qualified majority,” said the CLO.
CLO also notes that in a Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Opinion No. 13, they stated that the law is silent as to what kind of majority vote is required of the sanggunian in the passing of annual and supplemental budgets.
“In its silence, the presumption is, the same is to be enacted only a simple majority vote,” said DILG Opinion No. 13.
The CLO also said that the Sangguinang Panglungsod’s internal rules cannot supplant the law as stipulated in the Local Government Code of 1991, supplemented by the DILG’s opinion.
Furthermore, the CLO notes jurisprudence in previous cases such as Alberto G. Romulo vs. Hon. Nicanor Yñiguez, where the Supreme Court en banc has ruled that “The rules of procedure adopted by deliberative bodies have not the force of public law, but they are merely in the nature of by-laws, prescribed for the orderly and convenient conduct of their own proceeding.”
With this, the CLO is of the opinion that the passing of the supplemental budget was legitimate and that the budget can be used for the allocations stipulated in budget.
The City Council still awaits the opinion of the DILG and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
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