City council refused to act on 2015 budget

REENACTED BUDGET

THE rumored icy relationship between the sangguniang panlungsod of Dagupan and city hall surfaced after the city councilors forced the city government to operate on a reenacted budget in 2015 after if deliberately refused to act on the proposed 2015 budget that was submitted to it 14 days ahead of the deadline set by the Department of Budget Management (DBM).

The city councilors went on Christmas break on December 17 without any comment on the proposed budget.

The Performance Enhancement Bonus of employees was approved only after City Mayor Belen Fernandez called for a special session, because the city council, led by Vice Mayor Brian Lim, failed to meet for two consecutive sessions owing to absence of quorum.

Still the councilors did not bother to discuss the 2105 budget during the special session.

The 2105 budget proposed by Mayor Belen Fernandez is P691 million or P63 million higher than the 2014 annual budget of P628 million.

It was submitted to the SP on Oct. 2, 2014, 14 days ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline set by for all Local Government Units (LGUs) to submit their proposed budgets to their respective legislative bodies.

Attempts of The PUNCH to get reactions and explanations from the councilors have been ignored.

Sources close to some of the councilors who refused to be identified indicated that the refusal of the councilors to cooperate stems from the refusal of Mayor Fernandez to grant their request for financial assistance, an illegal practice that was started by her predecessor Mayor Benjamin Lim.

The granting of financial assistance to lawmakers, akin to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of senators and congressmen, has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court and it has since been expressly disallowed by the Commission on Audit.

Meanwhile the office of the mayor also refused to comment on the reported requests for financial assistance of the councilors.

Attached to the shelved proposed 2015 budget are the Annual Investment Plan (AIP), Gender and Development (GAD) and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (CDRRMCP).

The PUNCH also learned that the city council has shelved other requests of the city mayor that included:

– Proposed ordinance for the operation and management of the Dagupan Island Tours and imposing fees and specifying the manner of collection therefor, which was transmitted to the SP on Oct. 22, The island Tour is set to be launched on Dec. 21 as additional come-on in the city.

– Request for appropriation of P1.5 million for the construction of a new social hygiene building at Herrero-Perez;

– Request for P500,000 for the construction  of an open court at the Bonuan Boquig Elementary School;

– Request for two units of fire trucks to augment the fire fighting capability of the Dagupan City Fire Station;

– Resolution authorizing the city mayor to look for and negotiate for the purchase of a lot intended as site for a housing project for city government employees.

– Proposed ordinance authorizing the city mayor to negotiate and purchase a lot to be made as site of the proposed Dagupan Fish Port to be built by the national government, – – Proposed ordinance enacting the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of the city for 2015 to 2025, submitted to the SP on Oct. 10.

It is still not certain if the city council will finally act on the 2015 budget when it convenes on January 5, 2015 so until it does, the city government cannot initiate new activities for the city.

THE rumored icy relationship between the sangguniang panlungsod of Dagupan and city hall surfaced after the city councilors forced the city government to operate on a reenacted budget in 2015 after if deliberately refused to act on the proposed 2015 budget that was submitted to it 14 days ahead of the deadline set by the Department of Budget Management (DBM).

The city councilors went on Christmas break on December 17 without any comment on the proposed budget.

The Performance Enhancement Bonus of employees was approved only after City Mayor Belen Fernandez called for a special session, because the city council, led by Vice Mayor Brian Lim, failed to meet for two consecutive sessions owing to absence of quorum.

Still the councilors did not bother to discuss the 2105 budget during the special session.

The 2105 budget proposed by Mayor Belen Fernandez is P691 million or P63 million higher than the 2014 annual budget of P628 million.

It was submitted to the SP on Oct. 2, 2014, 14 days ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline set by for all Local Government Units (LGUs) to submit their proposed budgets to their respective legislative bodies.

Attempts of The PUNCH to get reactions and explanations from the councilors have been ignored.

Sources close to some of the councilors who refused to be identified indicated that the refusal of the councilors to cooperate stems from the refusal of Mayor Fernandez to grant their request for financial assistance, an illegal practice that was started by her predecessor Mayor Benjamin Lim.

The granting of financial assistance to lawmakers, akin to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of senators and congressmen, has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court and it has since been expressly disallowed by the Commission on Audit.

Meanwhile the office of the mayor also refused to comment on the reported requests for financial assistance of the councilors.

Attached to the shelved proposed 2015 budget are the Annual Investment Plan (AIP), Gender and Development (GAD) and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (CDRRMCP).

The PUNCH also learned that the city council has shelved other requests of the city mayor that included:

– Proposed ordinance for the operation and management of the Dagupan Island Tours and imposing fees and specifying the manner of collection therefor, which was transmitted to the SP on Oct. 22, The island Tour is set to be launched on Dec. 21 as additional come-on in the city.

– Request for appropriation of P1.5 million for the construction of a new social hygiene building at Herrero-Perez;

– Request for P500,000 for the construction  of an open court at the Bonuan Boquig Elementary School;

– Request for two units of fire trucks to augment the fire fighting capability of the Dagupan City Fire Station;

– Resolution authorizing the city mayor to look for and negotiate for the purchase of a lot intended as site for a housing project for city government employees.

– Proposed ordinance authorizing the city mayor to negotiate and purchase a lot to be made as site of the proposed Dagupan Fish Port to be built by the national government, – – Proposed ordinance enacting the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of the city for 2015 to 2025, submitted to the SP on Oct. 10.

It is still not certain if the city council will finally act on the 2015 budget when it convenes on January 5, 2015 so until it does, the city government cannot initiate new activities for the city.

THE rumored icy relationship between the sangguniang panlungsod of Dagupan and city hall surfaced after the city councilors forced the city government to operate on a reenacted budget in 2015 after if deliberately refused to act on the proposed 2015 budget that was submitted to it 14 days ahead of the deadline set by the Department of Budget Management (DBM).

The city councilors went on Christmas break on December 17 without any comment on the proposed budget.

The Performance Enhancement Bonus of employees was approved only after City Mayor Belen Fernandez called for a special session, because the city council, led by Vice Mayor Brian Lim, failed to meet for two consecutive sessions owing to absence of quorum.

Still the councilors did not bother to discuss the 2105 budget during the special session.

The 2105 budget proposed by Mayor Belen Fernandez is P691 million or P63 million higher than the 2014 annual budget of P628 million.

It was submitted to the SP on Oct. 2, 2014, 14 days ahead of the Oct. 16 deadline set by for all Local Government Units (LGUs) to submit their proposed budgets to their respective legislative bodies.

Attempts of The PUNCH to get reactions and explanations from the councilors have been ignored.

Sources close to some of the councilors who refused to be identified indicated that the refusal of the councilors to cooperate stems from the refusal of Mayor Fernandez to grant their request for financial assistance, an illegal practice that was started by her predecessor Mayor Benjamin Lim.

The granting of financial assistance to lawmakers, akin to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of senators and congressmen, has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court and it has since been expressly disallowed by the Commission on Audit.

Meanwhile the office of the mayor also refused to comment on the reported requests for financial assistance of the councilors.

Attached to the shelved proposed 2015 budget are the Annual Investment Plan (AIP), Gender and Development (GAD) and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (CDRRMCP).

The PUNCH also learned that the city council has shelved other requests of the city mayor that included:

– Proposed ordinance for the operation and management of the Dagupan Island Tours and imposing fees and specifying the manner of collection therefor, which was transmitted to the SP on Oct. 22, The island Tour is set to be launched on Dec. 21 as additional come-on in the city.

– Request for appropriation of P1.5 million for the construction of a new social hygiene building at Herrero-Perez;

– Request for P500,000 for the construction  of an open court at the Bonuan Boquig Elementary School;

– Request for two units of fire trucks to augment the fire fighting capability of the Dagupan City Fire Station;

– Resolution authorizing the city mayor to look for and negotiate for the purchase of a lot intended as site for a housing project for city government employees.

– Proposed ordinance authorizing the city mayor to negotiate and purchase a lot to be made as site of the proposed Dagupan Fish Port to be built by the national government, – – Proposed ordinance enacting the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of the city for 2015 to 2025, submitted to the SP on Oct. 10.

It is still not certain if the city council will finally act on the 2015 budget when it convenes on January 5, 2015 so until it does, the city government cannot initiate new activities for the city.

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