ILOILO City – Mayor Jose Espinosa has ordered City Budget Officer Ninda Atinado to prepare Allotment Release Orders (AROs) on the basis of the 2019 P2.318-billion annual budget except for vetoed items, the AROs of which should be based on items in the 2018 Annual Budget similar to those vetoed.
The AROs were important, according to Espinosa, to ensure the prompt delivery of city government services and avert bureaucratic and circuitous processes deleterious to public service.
On Jan. 7 the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) did not override the line item veto of the city mayor to the approved 2019 annual budget.
Specifically, Atinado was ordered to immediately release the following:
* ARO for Personal Services and Associated Personal Services Costs for the whole year 2019, the appropriations for salaries and wages of regular and permanent positions, and salaries and wages of contractual and non-permanent positions
* ARO for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) for the whole year 2019
* ARO for financial expenses for the whole year 2019; and
* ARO for Capital Expenditures.
Espinosa also emphasized to Atinado that, as provided under the Budget Operations Manual for local government units, AROs shall be submitted without delay to the City Mayor’s Office for his approval.
The mayor’s partial veto covered items under Maintenance and Operating Expenses (MOOE) of the City Mayor’s Office except for Security Services and Project Dakip, and the salaries of casuals under several offices.
They were “deemed prejudicial to public welfare,” stated Espinosa in his veto message to the SP.
The city council approved the 2019 budget but split in two the MOOE and capital outlay of the chief executive as well as the city councilors’. Half of the budget for each office/account is appropriated from January to June 2019; the other half is from July to December 2019.
According to Espinosa, the split made the budget a “semi-budget” which was not allowed by law./PN