Rama okays P5.2 billion budget, but retains veto

Posted on January 9, 2013

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While he signed the P5.2 billion budget for Cebu City this year, Mayor Michael Rama said he isn’t finished arguing with the City Council.

In a veto letter sent to the council dated Jan. 7 Rama outlined his objections to the council’s reduction of several items he made a priority.

“The reduction or putting zero budgets on programs that protect the welfare of constituents an act prejudicial to public welfare,” wrote Rama.

The council will discuss the veto letter in this morning’s session.

Among the items he questioned were the budget reduction of the Office of Senior Citizens, the closure and rehabilitation plan of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill and the motor vehicle outlay for the police.

Rama questioned why the council designated June and December as the date of distribution of senior citizen assistance when the first release was done as early as February in the past years.

Councilor Margot Osmeña, the council’s budget committee chairperson, said the council is confused about why Rama signed the budget ordinance which he vetoed.

In his noontime press conference yesterday, Rama said he signed the budget ordinance because “I don’t want to be the reason to derail the budget implementation.”

He said he issued the line or partial veto after a meeting with staffers last Jan. 7.

Rama said he tasked City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete to explain his veto to the council.

Councilor Osmeña clarified that the council is “only trying to match the city’s expenses with how much it can raise.”

“If he (Rama) does not like it, it does not matter because he does not like us anyway…. I don’t want to argue with Mike because he does not make sense,” she said. /Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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