The Department of Budget and Management has declared “inoperative in its entirety effective immediately” the 2019 budget of Makati City that was belatedly revised and approved by the opposition bloc in the City Council.
In its letter dated March 14, 2019 signed by Director Ruby Muro, the DBM stated that the revised 2019 budget “has not complied with the budgetary requirements as well as other provisions of law.”
As a result of the defects in the revised budget passed by opposition members of the city council, more than 10,000 city government employees were not able to receive the increase in their salaries.
Under the rules of the Commission on Elections, the giving of salary increase, remuneration or privilege to government workers is strictly prohibited during the campaign period.
Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo said that with the adverse action of the DBM, there was no time to beat the election ban on salary increases as well as other city government projects.
The DBM noted that in the city council’s budget, the “total appropriations exceed the estimates of income” by P1.37 million, which is not in accordance with Section 324(a) of R.A. No. 7160 and Local Budget Circular No. 112 dated June 10, 2016 (Budget Operations Manual for LGUs).
The provision under the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160) requires that “the aggregate amount appropriated shall not exceed the estimates of income.”
The DBM also observed that the appropriations provided for some programs, projects and activities in the City Ordinance were “higher than the amounts reflected in the approved Annual Investment Program (AIP).”
The councilors allotted an amended budget of P52,568,300 to Volunteer Management System, which exceeded its approved AIP amount of P2,921,300 by P49,647,000. Similarly, the revised DRRM Awards budget of P40,558,794 surpassed its AIP amount by P22,070,794.
The councilors’ revised budget likewise failed to comply with the laws governing the use of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF), which require a 30-percent allocation for Quick Response Fund (QRF).
As a consequence, there was a deficiency amounting to P841,806.00 for QRF and a corresponding excess budget of the same amount for Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Fund (DPMF).
The defects and inconsistencies noted by the DBM were the same items cited by Mayor Abby Binay in her veto message to the city budget revised and passed by the opposition councilors.
However, the same councilors chose to disregard these defects and mistakes and insisted on passing their version of the budget.
“The amended budget of the opposition bloc of the Sanggunian is inconsistent with existing laws, grossly disproportionate and does not promote equitable distribution of the city’s resources. It is unfortunate that the opposition councilors have remained blind to the errors and glaring inequality that they have caused, and again missed the opportunity to rectify the disservice they have done to the people of Makati,” Lagdameo said.
The budget delay has also hindered the city’s compliance with pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code and with assessment criteria for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) and Local Legislative Awards (LLA) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The opposition councilors consist of Councilors Nemesio Yabut, Jr., Divina Jacome, Shirley Aspillaga, Grazielle Iony de Lara-Bes, Ferdinand Eusebio, Leonardo Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Nelson Pasia, Arlene Ortega, Mary Ruth Tolentino, Marie Alethea Casal-Uy, and Evelyn Delfina Villamor.