Will they attend Dec. 28 special session?

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita December 23,2015 - 01:13 AM

The Cebu City Council may hold a special session on Monday, December 28, to discuss the fate of the P2.8 billion Supplemental Budget 1 (SB1), which has been shelved several times.

But will enough legislators in the majority bloc show up for a quorum after repeatedly ignoring the extra budget proposal?

“Let’s just say we will look into what the councilors will say,” said Acting Vice Mayor Archival, who belongs to the Bando Osmena-Pundok, which has been steadfast in deferring action on SB 1 for months.

Archival said he sent out notices for a 2 p.m. session on Monday .

However, his action appeared more a matter of courtesy after he received a letter from Acting Mayor Edgar Labella, who made a last-ditch appeal to tackle the extra budget before the year ends.

The council already held its “last” special session on Friday to pass the city’s annual budget for 2016.

Several councilors are already starting their holiday vacations.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña, who heads the council’s committee on budget and finance, said she and her family will be flying to Manila today.

Labella, who is seeking reelection as vice mayor with suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, said, he felt duty-bound to remind legislators of their role in authorizing budgets to ensure smooth operation of the city government.

“I think I would be remiss if I don’t give them that reminder when I am now the acting mayor. After all, it is just to approve it, to deny it, or slash it, but certainly to act on it,”

“If it is the apprehension of the majority members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod that they could be held liable in case Romulo Torres eventually wins his case, I am willing to sign an undertaking and perhaps the other members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod who would vote in the affirmative that we should be the only ones to be held liable thereof and spare those who voted in the negative thereon,” Labella said in his letter.

The Regiona Trial Court has dismissed the case of Toreres.

The bulk of the SB1 is intended for the prepayment of the city’s outstanding balance of the South Road Properties (SRP) loan.

Labella said this was why the executive department didn’t include appropriations for the principal and interest expense for the SRP loan in the annual budget for 2016.

The SRP loan obligations fall due on February 20 next year.

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TAGS: Acting Mayor Edgar Labella, Acting Vice Mayor Archival, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Council, Supplemental Budget 1

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