By Jel Santos
A Makati City councilor on Sunday has urged opposition councilors to set aside politics for the welfare of their constituents, saying the delay in the approval of the city’s 2019 budget is making major setbacks.
“We should set aside political differences so as not to cause any more delay in the approval of budget that would put the welfare of the citizens at stake,” Councilor Armand Padilla, president of the “Liga ng mga Barangay,” said.
“Let me remind my colleagues in the City Council who have been stonewalling the passage of the Appropriation Ordinance for the 2019 city budget that they are, in effect, causing major setbacks in the implementation of new projects at the barangay level, to the detriment of our constituents,” he added.
Padilla noted that while the city budget approval remains pending, no other matters, including barangay and SK budgets, may be taken up by the Sanggunian.
“Under Section 323 of the Local Government Code, we cannot take up any Barangay or SK budget until we have approved the city budget. The immediate passage of the Appropriation Ordinance is needed so we can start deliberations on barangay and SK budgets,” he said.
“The protracted approval of the city budget has forced our barangays to operate on a reenacted budget, denying residents the added benefits offered by new, innovative projects planned for the year,” the councilor stressed.
The proposed 2019 budgets of the city’s 33 barangays are estimated to amount to P1.7 billion, the local government of Makati said.
Councilor Rodolfo San Pedro, Jr., chairman of the SK Federation of Makati, has also appealed to the City Council’s opposition bloc.
He said: “The Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Makati urges the opposition bloc in the City Council to pass the 2019 city budget without further delay. Otherwise, all our efforts to put together innovative and high-impact projects for the benefit of our fellow youth in Makati will be in vain.”
Other than salaries, other personnel-related expenditures and utilities, each barangay budget has allocations for programs, projects and activities. These include weight monitoring and feeding program for children, dengue prevention, capability-building for barangay environmental police, clean-and-green initiatives, barangay outposts, and the acquisition of bicycles, tribikes, CCTV cameras, fire extinguishers and other emergency response equipment.