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Cebu City 2024 budget faces yet another amendment over ‘identified lapses’

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 27,2023 - 05:02 PM

Cebu City Hall

JULY 16, 2023: A glimpse at the facade of the Cebu City Hall. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu City budget for 2024 will undergo yet another amendment, as it started at P100 billion, was slashed to P22 billion, and is now set to be revised up to P25 billion.

This is according to Cebu City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, the chairman of the budget and finance committee, stating this adjustment comes in response to identified lapses in the approved budget appropriations.

READ: Cebu City’s 2024 budget slashed from P100 Billion to P20 Billion

Cebu City 2024 budget amendments

“We [will] have to make amendments to the budget appropriation this afternoon. We have to amend the ordinance because naa miy nakita na sayop. We have to admit it na naay sayop (We have to amend the ordinance because we made a mistake. We have to admit that we made a mistake),” Wenceslao said in a phone interview on Wednesday, December 27.

He identified two major discrepancies in the approved ordinance.

Firstly, an inadvertent typographical error was identified in the City Legal Department budget appropriation, where an amount of P1 billion was mistakenly listed instead of the accurate P1,980,080.

“Number one: ang sa City legal, one million nine hundred eighty (pesos) ang sakto then it was typographical error kay amo nabutang is P1 billion,” Wenceslao stated.

(Number one: The City legal, one million nine hundred eight (pesos) is the right figure, but then it was a typographical error because we place P1 billion.)

Secondly, Wenceslao noted that after reviewing the disaster-related laws, they have found a “misalignment” in the budget appropriation.

READ: Cebu City eyes increased RPT, international aid to fund P100B budget in 2024

Disaster appropriation

According to Wenceslao, the law mandates that five percent of the estimated revenue must be allocated to disaster appropriation. In this case, P5 billion should be allocated for disaster-related expenses.

However, the current appropriation stands at P1 billion, necessitating an immediate adjustment of an additional P4 billion.

“Among gitan-aw, gireview na mo ang law regarding sa disater. It should be five percent of the estimated revenue, so the estimated revenue is 100 billion, so meaning to say, the five percent of that is five billion (pesos) and among gi appropriate is only P1 billion so we have to make adjustment,” he said.

(We checked, we reviewed the law regarding a disaster. It should be five percent of the estimated revenue, so the estimated revenue is P100 billion, so meaning to say, the five percent of that is five billion (pesos) and what we appropriated is only P1 billion pesos so we have to make the adjustment.)

He further added, “Among pun-an ug four billion (pesos) ang appropriation so instead of 21 billion (pesos), 25 billion (pesos) na tanan mao na nay adjustment na buhaton.”

(We will add four billion (pesos) to the appropriation so instead of 21 billion (pesos), 25 billion pesos is all the adjustment that would be needed to be done.)

READ: Tax revisions pushed to fund Cebu City’s P50B budget in 2023

Urgency of amendments

Moreover, Wenceslao noted the urgency of these amendments, stressing that a timely response is crucial to prevent any potential complications.

He also shed light on the potential outcome after the amendments would be proposed that if the council would approve the adjustments, the revised budget would be submitted to the mayor for his signature.

However, in the event of disagreement, the mayor holds the authority to veto the amendments.

Wenceslao said that in case of a veto, the legislative process would allow for either a total or partial veto.

A total veto would result in the reenactment of the budget in January, while a partial veto would see the parts not vetoed holding, leaving the decision to the council to override or accept the vetoed portions.

Previously, the proposed budget for Cebu City’s 2024 operations, initially set at P100 billion, has been slashed to just over P22 billion, which was approved last December 20.

The annual budget ordinance was authored by City Councilors Noel Wenceslao and Jocelyn Pesquera.


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TAGS: budget, Cebu City, lapses

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