COUNCILOR Jeslito ‘Jig’ Seen said he has no doubt that the P1.4-billion Annual Investment Program (AIP) passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) at the insistence of the majority will be returned by the Department of Budget and Management (DBP) along with the annual budget of the city for 2013, which is yet to be passed by the council.
This was echoed by Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez who, along with Seen, were the only ones who objected to the passage of a resolution ratifying the AIP purportedly prepared by the Local Development Council.
The two minority councilors believe that the AIP, supposedly an investment plan for the city next year, is not only very unrealistic and illegal, but also does not meet the requirement of the DBM.
The DBM requires the submission of the Local Development Investment Program (LDIP), which is an investment plan of the city for three years, the AIP and the city’s annual city budget.
The AIP is supposed to be the basis for the enactment of the annual city budget for 2013 proposed at P612 million.
Without the LDIP and AIP, the city budget for 2013 cannot be enacted, said Seen, former chairman of appropriations of the SP.
He cited what happened last year when the budget was returned by DBM to the city for lack of the corresponding LDIP and AIP.
“This time, mayroon tayong AIP na P1.4 billion which is according to the majority is a plan for six years, but we do not have the LDIP,” said Seen.
At the same time, Seen said that the committee on appropriation in the SP held a committee hearing on the AIP with only five members present and without resource persons.
Based on their committee report, even members of the finance committee of the city were not present.
Those present were Councilor Jesus Canto chairman, and Councilor Luis Samson Jr., vice chairman; and Councilors Librada Reyna, Redford Christian Mejia and Alvin Coquia.
The PUNCH sources said the approval by the SP of P1.4 billion AIP was a strategy taken by the present administration in preparation for its plan to secure a multi-million bank loan, confident that it has the majority in the SP to support it.
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