The Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City if Tagbilaran held their session last April 14,2015, Tuesday instead of the usual Friday schedule because the SP officials led by Vice Mayor Jose Antonio S. Veloso will be joining their SP staff in their Lakbay-Aral / Educational tour in Cagayan De Oro City and Bukidnon.
During the session, members and representatives of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Saranggani Province joined the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod of City of Tagbilaran. Provincial Board Member of the First District of Saranggani Province George F. Falgui, in behalf of Vice Governor Jinkee J. Paquiao, expressed his gratitude to the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod for accommodating their legislative inquiries mainly about the booming Tourism Industry of the City. Hon. Falgui was joined by Sangguniang Panlalawigan staff members Divine Fernandez, Jeremie Catedral and Donny Vale Fernandez. Vice Governor Paquiao was unable to join them because she is still in the US supporting her husband, Manny Pacuiao, for his upcoming fight on May 3. Other ordinances being studied by Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Saranggani are the Transportation Ordinance, Drug Abuse Ordinance and Marine Mammal Ordinance. Their trip to Bohol is only the first leg of the series of legislative inquiries that they will be conducting in the Visayas to research, study, and compare ordinances that they will use in formulating legislative measures for the Province of Saranggani.
During the session, Councilor Agustinus V. Gonzaga sought reconsideration of the approval of Ordinance 05-15 or the Supplemental Budget No. 01 amounting to P 18.7 million, which was approved by the body in their last session last March 27. Councilor Gonzaga clarified that he has no objection regarding the monetization expenses and the water treatment facility appropriation, but he expressed misgivings on the P13.5 million appropriated for furnitures and fixtures for the future City Hall. He asked the sponsor of said ordinance, Councilor Bebiano Inting, to provide the cost estimates and the specifications of the furnitures and fixtures and why there is an urgency to appropriate a budget at a very early stage considering that the rehabilitation of the City Hall has not even commenced. He further said that by approving the budget of 13.5 million, it is like setting the ceiling price for the purchase of the furnitures and fixtures.
Councilor Inting countered that there is no need for Councilor Gonzaga to worry about how the P13.5 million will be spent, the SP’s task is just to appropriate and that only the Commission on Audit is the proper office to audit and investigate on the City’s expenditures. Gonzaga reasoned that although the SP is only tasked to appropriate, it does not prohibit him, nor any member of the body to seek a clarification on how the City’s budgets will be spent. He added that as the legislative arm of the City Government, it is the SP’s primary role to perform check and balance and not merely be a stamping pad.
Gonzaga moved for reconsideration of the approval of the supplemental budget, but in the end, he was outnumbered by the majority which denied his motion for reconsideration.