By Wenny Reyes
A conflict between the executive and legislative departments surfaced following exchanges of denials on legislative concern among top officials here.
Mayor Eutiquio Bernales barred Marlin Amodia from appearing the SB session last Tuesday, when the latter was invited for legislative inquiry.
In denying the local lawmakers, Bernales said, "upon careful consideration of the said resolution, it is clear that it did not state the specific documents, date and information which the body would like to elucidate from the Office of the Municipal Accountant."
On September 1, 2008 Bernales issued an Unnumbered Memorandum directing all executive officials and employees not to appear in any SB session or hearing without his written approval.
Sources said Media was supposed to be interrogated on the status of the Php700,000 allocation intended for the more than 2,000 indigents enrolled by the LGU for PhilHealth membership . But the said amount was not yet paid to said agency, as reported by Kag. Clarita Alesna to the council. However, unconfirmed reports reaching the SB revealed that the same amount was used in another project even without the realignment or augmentation ordinance, the source added.
The invitation of Media would have been the opening salvo for more legislative inquiries in SB's quest for transparency. Accordingly, there are at least four more dubious implementation of projects before the approval of the corresponding budgets necessitating SB probe, too.
On the other hand, vice mayor Galicano Atup set aside Mayor Bernales' reconsideration of Supplemental Budget No. 4 saying, "the SB cannot act on the request of the executive department to reconsider his proposed items since the said SB No. 4 was already approved Sept. 9." Unless, the mayor will issue a veto message tapping its grounds as ultra vires and prejudicial to the public welfare - the items on the approved SB No. 4, he added.
Atup said, the executive's version bear with adjustments made accordingly thru the intercession of kagawad Maximo Boyles Jr, vice chair on appropriations committee, via a win-win solution. But such allegations from the mayor's office was denied by kag. Boyles, Atup said.
The vice mayor noted "the most critical is the insistence of the specific items for the MPDC such as Php50,000 for traveling expenses and another Php50,000 for supplies. Also, under the Mayor's Office, the amount of Php15,000 for electrical supplies for reinstallation of which the budget for milk feeding was reduced to Php100,000."
Atup added that there is already as approved Augmentation Ordinance in the amount of Php177,155 for electrical supplies, the source of which was augmented from the Aid to Cultural Activities.