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Capitol can only mediate, not decide on Talisay budget feud

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva February 03,2015 - 08:58 AM

The Cebu provincial government cannot do anything to reverse the Talisay City Council’s decision to override the veto of Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes of the city’s P539 million budget for this year.

PB Member Grecilda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero, chairperson of the PB budget committee, said they can only mediate in the dispute in hopes that both parties can arrive at an amicable solution.

“Initially, both parties have expressed willingness to sit down,” Sanchez told reporters after the PB’s regular session yesterday.

Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante and six councilors explained their decision to cut down some budget items to Sanchez and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale last week.

Sanchez said the dispute could have been resolved through negotiation.

Talisay City’s budget last year was P616 million.

This year, Mayor de los Reyes proposed a P1.081 billion budget which included the construction of a new public market.

The Talisay City Council dropped the budget for the market, saying they didn’t approve it.

From P731 million, the council trimmed it to P539 million, reducing appropriations from the mayor’s intelligence fund and maintenance expenses.

“The difference is only around P77 million. It can be negotiated,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the PB will set standards on budgets as provided by law.

They will try to look at how much the allowable appropriation for each slashed item is and try to reach a compromise, she said.

Among the items cut by the council were confidential or intelligence expenses and other maintenance and operating expenses which was reduced from P10 million to P100,000 and gasoline and fuel allocation from P6 million to P2 million.

Other items that were cut include repairs and vehicle maintenance from P5 million to P2 million; extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses, from P426,000 to P76,000; advertising expenses, from P600,000 to P10,000; and training.

Magpale said they are still making arrangements for the dialogue with de los Reyes and Villarante. She said “only elected officials” will be allowed in the meeting.

“No pastor, no John Yre (de los Reyes’ son and Talisay City administrator). Only the mayor, the vice mayor, the governor, me, (board member) Gigi, and perhaps anyone from the board who is available,¨ she said.

Mayor de los Reyes again appealed to the PB to help him resolve the budget issue.

In last week’s press conference, de los Reyes brought with him his department heads to explain how the budget cuts would affect his administration.

“Our intention (was) to show the Provincial Board the truth about the slashed budget,” de los Reyes told reporters.

De los Reyes said he is willing to sit down with Villarete to discuss the budget.

“I am willing to humble myself and ready to meet him again to resolve this,” de los Reyes.


Related Stories:

Talisay council overrides JVR’s budget veto JVR loses 1,000 job order workers; Council defends cut
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TAGS: budget, fiscal management, Talisay City

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