By NITZ ARANCON
THE city council committee of the whole yesterday approved Mayor Oscar Moreno’s proposed P123-million intelligence fund for 2018.
The committee of the whole also gave the green light to Moreno’s proposed P6-million “extraordinary” fund.
The discretionary funds were approved by the committee without much question and opposition.
Of 17 councilors, only four took part in the second budget hearing at the city council’s session hall, including Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. who president over the committee of the whole meeting. The others who came were councilors Romeo Calizo, Enrico Salcedo and Maria Lourdes Gaane.
City budget officer Percy Salazar said Moreno’s proposed intelligence fund for 2018 is the same amount given to his office this year by the city council.
Salazar said the proposed intelligence fund is 30 percent of the proposed city hall budget for peace and order next year. The peace and order fund includes aid to the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Salazar said the proposed P6-million extraordinary fund represents two percent of city hall’s total real property tax collection.
Moreno’s proposed P123-million intelligence fund is a far cry from what the city council gave his office during the first three years of his mayorship. He was only given P1 million a year by the previous city council.
Councilor Lao said the committee of the whole aims to bring Moreno’s proposed budget to the city council for approval before Christmas day.
Asked about the poor attendance, Lao said, “Ambot. I don’t know. Dili siguro sila ga-interest og tan-aw sa budget.”
Councilors who were absent in yesterday’s hearing were Ian Mark Nacaya, Jay Pascual, Reuben Daba, Suzette Daba, Annie Daba, Dometilo Acenas Jr., Lordan Suan, Leon Gan, Nadya Elipe, Yam Lam Lim, George Goking, Edna Dahino and Zaldy Ocon.
Dahino is on a leave of absence while Ocon has been hospitalized.
Goking, one of those absent, said he was not feeling well yesterday but added that he was present during the first budget hearing this Wednesday.