By LITO RULONA
COUNCILOR Teodulfo Lao Jr. sees Mayor Oscar Moreno’s proposed city hall budget getting approved next month, opining that the next city council would no longer be able to override the local chief executive’s veto.
Lao, who earlier announced he would side with the administration bloc in the next city council under Vice Mayor-elect Joaquin Uy, said the local legislature may even give Moreno’s proposed annual budget the green light this July.
When the 18th city council convenes next month, Lao said he expects Moreno to submit the proposed 2016 budget to the Local Finance Committee and the city’s legislature for approval.
Moreno’s proposed P4.8-billion annual budget failed to get the Padayon Pilipino-dominated city council’s approval.
In the event that the next city council significantly reduces the proposed budget and Moreno vetoes it, Lao said, he doubts if the legislature would have the numbers to override the veto.
Lao said the city council needs two-thirds of its members to vote for an override.
“But the members of the city council can no longer override considering nga wala na sila maka-kuha og two-thirds that can override the veto of the mayor,” he explained.
Lao said that if the city council cannot override, the proposed annual budget would be considered approved 30 days after the veto.
Moreno’s proposed annual budgets have been significantly reduced by the city council since 2014. That year alone, he proposed a P2.64 billion but only P2.31 billion was approved.
“Ang problema ani karon kay nia na kita sa middle of the year. Tan-awon ta kini karon because the budget should have been passed earlier mao nga reenacted ang budget,” Lao said.
Lao said that if Moreno’s proposal is approved, city hall would be able to complete its infrastructure projects especially in the hinterland barangays.
“This will include unfinished projects in the barangay levels like the installation of street lights and the construction of health centers. The intelligence fund would also be a big help in implementing peace and order program of Mayor Moreno,” Lao said.
But Councilor Ramon Tabor said he feared that Moreno’s proposal, if approved, would result in higher taxes in the city.
Tabor, who would step down next month, said the annual budget should always be based on the local government’s tax-collection performance during the previous year.
He said Moreno’s proposed budget was “bloated.”
“This is the most awaited part kung ila gyud kini nga ipugos. I am excited to see them, kung ila gyud i-puwerhisyo ang katawhan,” Tabor said.