Council questions City Hall’s proposed budget for Charter Day celebration

02/06/2011 - THE Cebu City Council yesterday approved but questioned the executive department’s proposed P5.5 million allocation for the City’s 74th Charter Day Celebration.

The council has noted some inconsistencies in some of the items included in the proposed budget that was filed by Councilor Lea Japson.

During the council’s regular session, Councilor Raul Alcoseba questioned the amount of the food budget for each person.

Under the proposed budget, P1,000 was set aside for food per person, but oher people were alloted P2,000 each.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, presiding officer, found the prices very high.

“The point here is we should not be spending so much because we need more money for drainage,” he said.

Also, Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. saw inconsistencies in the cost of the food, saying it has varied prices that range from P50 to P350.

“I wonder how they came up with all these prices,” he said.

Aside from the food, Pe also questioned the budget for the hiring of three judges for the different competitions during the celebration.

Pe said he does not understand why the City has to give tokens to the judges that are worth P1,500 each, when they will already be given P5,000 as professional fees.

Japson, who heads the ad hoc committee tasked to organize the Charter Day celebrations, said the appropriation she submitted was prepared by the City Administrators Office for budgetary purposes and bidding.

But Alcoseba said even if it is for budgetary purposes only, “we need the exact amount.”

Another concern the council raised yesterday was the necessity of giving awards to City Hall’s department heads, officials and employees.

“Through the years magbalikbalik ra gyud nang department heads nga makadaug (the winning department heads are all the same),” said Abellanosa.

Mayor Michael Rama, when sought for comment, said the City has been giving awards to outstanding departments and employees for years.

As to the inconsistencies found in the budget, Rama said Councilor Japson will clarify them.

The council still approved the fund for the Charter Day celebrations, saying the contracts that will be awarded as well as the payment for the expenses will still need the approval of the body. (Sun Star)

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