TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Vice-Governor Melvin Vargas Jr said it is Governor Manuel Mamba’s right to line veto the proposed 2017 executive budget, but they are still waiting which items are included in the veto.
Cagayan’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) said they have yet to receive any document from the governor approving the annual budget or the list of vetoed items.
“Hinihintay lang naman po natin kung ano pa po ang ila-line veto niya dahil po yun naman po yung una nating papakinggan kung ano po talaga yung gusto po niyang i-line veto para maging klaro po sa amin,” Vargas said after the 66th Regular Session on Wednesday, December 6.
As of Wednesday, Governor Mamba is outside Cagayan for an official business. Cagayan Provincial Information Officer Rogelio Sending said, on Monday, the line vetoes were still being prepared.
“We will respect that. If ever he will line veto and we feel that it is not for the betterment of the province of Cagayan ay magkakaroon din po kami ng alternative,” Vargas said.
This alternative is in the form of an override. Vargas explained that an override requires two thirds of the actual members of the sanggunian, excluding the presiding officer.
“I’m just here for a tie-break. Pag may tie-breaking doon lang po ako may karapatan na bumoto o sabihin ang aking side,” he said. Vargas said, if the SP overrides the veto, the board’s version of the 2017 annual budget will be followed.
He also said that unless the governor signs the appropriation ordinance, Cagayan’s 2017 budget is “inoperative.” “We will cross the bridge when we get there kasi wala pa naman po yung line veto,” he added.
The board also refused to tackle 2017 supplemental budget in Wednesday’s session, saying they cannot act until Mamba approves the 2017 budget.
The SP said it is “not legally binding” to approve the supplemental budget without Mamba’s official approval of the mother budget.
“We have cases left and right in different courts that’s why we are careful but nevertheless when he will sign the appropriation ordinance,” Vargas said.
Yet, the SP said they are willing to hold a special session once Mamba decides on the 2017 budget.
The 2017 executive budget was approved in a special session on Friday, December 1. Northernforum.net