DBM clarifies review action PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 January 2011 15:44

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in Manila has clarified issues concerning its regional office’s review action on the 2011 Annual Budget that supposedly requires the chief executive to seek Council approval on projects and purchase of goods and services implemented in generic terms.

In a letter to Mayor Celso Lobregat dated January 7, 2011, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad issued the following clarification; “It may be clarified that the review actions of our Regional Office simply emphasized the requirements in above-cited provisions of RA No. 7160 in the execution and implementation of the Annual and Supplemental Budgets of the City government of Zamboanga. As with every local government unit, the City Government of zamboanga is responsible for ensuring compliance with these legal requirements in relation to the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in “Hon. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing et al., vs. Hon. Gwendolyn F. Garcia et al. Thus, it is incumbent upon the city government of Zamboanga to show or provide the Sanggunian authorization in instances when the same is required by law”.

Mayor Lobregat on January 6 sought Sec. Abad’s clarification on review actions concerning appropriations in generic terms of the city’s Supplemental Budget 2 also known as Appropriation Ordinance 645 and its counterpart provision in the city’s FY 2011 Annual Budget (Appropriation ordinance 643) in relation to sections 22 ( c ) and 346 of Republic Act 7160.

Section 2 of the city’s Supplemental Budget authorizes Mayor Lobregat to identify and allocate the infrastructure projects appropriated in generic terms and enter into contract for and in behalf of the city government in pursuance of said infrastructure projects.

Section 22 of RA 7160 states “unless otherwise provided in this code, no contract may be entered into by the local chief executive in behalf of the local government unit without prior authorization by the sanggunian concerned while section 346 of the same law talks about disbursements of local funds and statement of accounts which states “disbursements shall be made in accordance with the ordinance authorizing the annual or supplemental appropriations without the prior approval of the sanggunian concerned.”

As this developed, Mayor Celso Lobregat said the Appropriation Ordinance which was approved by the City Council includes a provision that authorizes the chief executive not only to identify projects  but also to enter into contract (after complying bidding requirements) to implement the same.

“The SP authorization is the ordinance itself. The ordinance itself is as clear as the daylight that I am given the authority, so there is no issue”, the mayor said in reply to insinuations that he violated the law by implementing projects without individual council authorization. -- Sheila Covarrubias