Tuesday, 04 January 2011 09:59
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is requiring the Chief Executive to secure City Council approval and authority for the implementation of infrastructure projects appropriated under generic terms including the purchases of goods and services.
Councilor Cesar “Jawo” Jimenez, Jr. yesterday disclosed different projects being implemented in generic terms by Mayor Celso Lobregat without the prior approval and authority of the City Council are contrary to law.
“To make matters worst, the mayor is not only implementing infra projects without valid approval and authority from the City Council, but he is also purchasing goods and services without any authority at all,” Jimenez emphasized.
The councilor called on the members of the august body to recall the blanket authority given to the mayor to sign for and in behalf of the city government in the execution of projects and programs saying it is invalid.
Jimenez questioned why the mayor is insisting on the blanket authority when practically he can get the approval of the august body who are mostly his allies.
According to Jimenez, based on the the DBM review on Ordinance No. 643 Series 2010 dated December 17, 2010 authorizing the annual budget for the Fiscal Year 2011 in the amount of P2.1 billion, the series of blanket authorities including the provision in the annual supplemental budget granting the chief executive the authority to implement projects in generic terms is invalid and ineffective.
He said DBM’s letter, in particular comment No. 5 explicitly states that appropriations in generic terms requires Sangguniang approval for the implementation of the corresponding projects including purchases of goods and services pursuant to Section 458 in conjunction with Section 22 of R.A. No. 7160.
The youthful alderman from Ayala also disclosed that another memorandum circular issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) quoting the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Quisumbing vs. Garcia which also requires the chief executive to get authority and approval of the City Council when implementing projects.
“The requirement was deliberately added as a measure of check and balance to temper the authority of the local chief executive and in recognition of the fact that the corporate powers of the local government unit are wielded as much by the chief executive as by its council.” Jimenez explained.
He added Lobregat should follow the law otherwise problems will be encountered in the future that will affect the city long after the expiration of his term as mayor of Zamboanga.
By Nonong Santiago
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