Capitol budget hearing resumes

By: Gail T. Momblan

THE Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s (SP) committee on appropriations will resume today, Jan 10, 2019, the hearings on the P3.7-billion executive budget for 2019.

The committee will call on the department heads of the Office of Deeds, Parole and Probation Administration, Public Information and Community Affairs Office, and Provincial Library and Archives.

Board Member Dorothy Paes, appropriations committee chair, said they are still finalizing the list of the next offices to be invited to the next budget hearing.

“May ara pa naka-schedule pero na-finalize pa naton kon ano nga offices kay kadamo ni kay almost 50 plus ka offices. Indi ta ni mabasta-basta,” she said.

She said that the SP could not be blamed with the delay of approval as they are doing their best to scrutinize the budget.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. earlier stated that contract of service and job hire employees might lose their jobs if the SP fails to approve the 2019 budget.

“Sa gin-mention ni Gov, ang aton na job hires, gin-mention ya man sadto nga ma-paralyze di ba, so before 2019 ginpapanaugan ya man to sang memorandum, gin-renew nya man kay te essential and necessary to sya mung,” Paes said.

“Ang aton lang ang insakto lang bala indi naton pagpatalangun ang tawo,” she added.


The appropriations committee also discovered discrepancies in the approved Annual Investment Plan (AIP) in the salaries of the contract of services and job hires of Ramon Duremdes District Hospital, Rep. Pedro G. Trono Mem. District Hospital, Ricardo Y. Ladrido Memorial Hospital, and Barotac Viejo District Hospital.

Based on the committee report presented by Paes during the SP regular session on Jan 8, the committee found out that “the salaries are charged against Personal Services” instead of MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses).

In addition, “salaries of regular personnel are charged in the MOOE. It should have been charged against Personal Services.”

“Amo to nakita ko, gin-complain ko kay Board (Domingo) Oso, siling ko may sala ang charges sang PS nila, nag-interchange sa MOOOE nila. Amo to gin-clarify ta,” Paes said in an interview.

The Local Finance Committee admitted the error.

In her committee report, Paes said that “since the Sanggunian has an oversight function, the August body should correct the classification by transferring the indicative expenditure item.”

“This warrants for the amendment of the AIP by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan before the passage of the 2019 budget,” she added.



Paes said that the fourth tranche salary increase of capitol workers can be retroactively implemented, contrary to Defensor’s claims that the non-passage of the 2019 budget will endanger the pay raise.

“Ari na ang sabat sa aton sang DBM (Department of Budget and Management) kag DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) mismo nga may retroactive (effect) as soon as the budget is passed. Ma-retroact na siya ya. Kon mapasar naton ang 2019 budget, makuha man nila ang salary differential nila,” she said.

On Dec 17, 2018, the DBM issued an opinion in response to the letter of Vice Governor Christine Garin and Paes dated Dec 10, 2018.

The DBM cited Section 11 of Executive Order (EO) No 201 which states that “the LGU may implement the compensation adjustments in at least four years depending on their financial capability, with each tranche starting not earlier than the dates stated therein- Jan 1, 2019, in the case of the fourth tranche of compensation adjustments.”

“This provides the basis for the retroactive application of the fourth tranche of compensation adjustment not earlier than Jan 1, 2019, and within the fiscal year of an approved budget that provides for it,” it added.