Zubiri frowns on Bukidnon’s supplemental budget, says IRA lesser than projected amount

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 July) – Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. has raised questions on the necessity of some items in the 6th supplemental budget proposed by Governor Alex Calingasan citing the province will receive an internal revenue allotment the amount of which will be lesser than originally projected.

The P6.784-million supplemental budget, which was presented Wednesday by Concessa Gamao, provincial government consultant for budget administration, is Calingasan’s first financial proposition scrutinized by the provincial board with Zubiri as the presiding officer.

Zubiri asked Gamao why the new governor is allocating money for mobile phone cards to department heads and giving out donations, among others, at a time when the province’s IRA is lessened.

The vice governor clarified he was only putting forward some of the points he want to pose to the provincial board in a budget hearing in August.

He said he just wanted to preempt possible problems for Calingasan, who he said is still new to the job.

Despite Zubiri’s reservations about the supplemental budget, the provincial board still approved it upon motion of Ranulfo Pepito, chair of the committee on appropriations.

The province will only get P1.212 billion, or P88-million short of the projected P1.3 billion, according to the Department of Budget and Management, as quoted by Gamao.

Gamao said several factors might have affected the shrinkage of Bukidnon’s IRA against projection but did not specify.

The P1.212-billion IRA, however, is at least six percent higher than that received in 2009, which was P1.139 billion.

Zubiri, the former governor, also questioned Calingasan’s decision to allow acting administrator Ma. Carmen Unabia to sign checks with amounts less than P50,000.

He said a delegated task like signing of checks cannot be further delegated. He called in his legal consultants to check on the matter and apprise the governor of its status. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)