People’s Initiative can revert city council budget slash

Feb 20, 2014

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Private citizens can undertake a people’s initiative to restore the city council’s reduction of the proposed budget by filing a case in court on the grounds that it is illegal, Ultra Vires (beyond the legal power or authority), prejudicial to public welfare, grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

 

“Even if I did not veto this budget reduction, anybody can file a case in court protesting its illegality and being prejudicial to public welfare,” said Mayor Oscar S. Moreno during a press conference held Monday at the Mayor’s office.

 

02-17-2014 Mayor Oscar S. Moreno presscon

 

However, the chief executive said a people’s initiative may not be appropriate at this time.

Ang importante is let your sentiment be known,” the mayor said. “Let the people’s sentiment be known in a democratic way. There are a lot of ways we can show this.”

 

The city council earlier slashed the proposed P2.6-billion budget submitted by the mayor by P300 million representing increased payments for an additional 50,000 Philhealth beneficiaries and additional capital outlay for the J. R. Borja Memorial City Hospital.

 

“The reduction that they did is illegal so I can insist on the P2.6 billion,” Moreno said. “Anyway I will enforce the budget not them. Nothing results from an illegal act.”

 

The mayor explained that with its slashing of the budget, the city council majority has encroached on the authority of the executive branch to prepare the budget.

 

02-17-2014 Mayor Oscar S. Moreno presscon

 

Under the worst case scenario, the 2013 budget will be re-enacted except for those items not vetoed by the chief executive. For instance, the 25,000 Philhealth beneficiaries slashed by the city council would still be retained under the re-enacted budget. “Even before they slashed the budget, I already renewed the subscription of the 50,000 subscribers from last year.”

 

“I will not ask for supplemental budget to the extent that it is not needed,” he added. I will not spend public money illegally.”

 

Mayor Moreno cited the recent Supreme Court decision on the illegality on the PDAF as the basis for the illegality of the City Council’s reduction of the 2014 budget proposed by the chief executive.

 

“I will implement the law. To the extent I did not veto the particular line item, it will continue.

The P300 million they removed is irreparable damage that has already resulted in the irreversible reduction of the budget from the 2.6 billion I proposed to P2.3 billion. Even if I vetoed it, that will not result in the restoration of the budget to P2.6 billion.”

 

“I will do what needs to be done to serve the people of Cagayan de Oro in the best way possible. That is the basic parameter. Nobody can stop me from serving the people.”

 

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