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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 22, 2013
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DILG says guv
can’t veto budget

BY GILBERT BAYORAN

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. cannot exercisehis veto power on the 2013 budget, that was disapproved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental, the Legal Service of the Department of Interior and Local Government said.

In his letter to Marañon, DILG Director III Jesus Duque IV, said the Sanggunian “disapproves” in its entirety the executive budget being proposed by the local chief executive.

Such disapproval only means that no ordinance was ever enacted by the Sanggunian. Logically, therefore, the local chief executive cannot exercise his approval or veto power since there is no enacted ordinance, so to speak, to be forwarded to him by the Sanggunian, Duque said.

When the Sanggunian disapproved the executive budget, the measure is considered a “lost measure” and, hence, there was nothing to be forwarded to the Governor for his approval or veto, he stressed.

Marañon had sought the DILG opinion if he can veto the disapproved budget.

The P2.02 billion budget of the province for 2013 was referred back to the Committee on Finance and Appropriations, as decided by majority of the SP members, who are allies of Vice-Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr., after several questions were raised about it, despitedeliberations on it and approval by the committee members last year.

Alvarez is challenging Maranon in the 2013 gubernatorial race.

Maranon also asked the DILG if the provincial government can utilize the 20 Percent Provincial Development Funds for payment of contractual obligations, including loans, continuing projects, grants and donations account under the Office of the Governor, and Gender and Development Projects, which is under the Special Purpose Appropriations, if they operate on a re-enacted budget.

Citing Article 415, Section 323 of the Local Government Code of 1991, Duque said its Implementing Rules and Regulations clearly provide the consequence in case the Sanggunian fails to enact the annual appropriations, that is, the budget of the preceding year is reenacted.

In case of reenacted budget, he said only the annual appropriations for salaries and wages of existing positions, statutory and contractual obligations, and essential operating expenses authorized in the annual and supplemental budgets for the preceding year shall be deemed reenacted.

Duque, however, said the appropriations spelled out by Marañon to be utilized, in case of a reenacted budget, is not sufficient for them to render a legal opinion. But he said, in case of reenacted budget, there will be no creation and filling up of positions, programs, projects and activities, the increase in Internal Revenue Allotment allocation for the year cannot be utilized since the same is not covered by an appropriation ordinance, and non-recurring activities cannot be undertaken no matter how vital they may be.

Citing Section 323 of Local Government Code of 1991, Duque also said that the SP shall continue to hold sessions, until such appropriation ordinance is approved, and no other business may be taken up for 90 days*GPB

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