Andy Rosales and Hans Palacios, both independent candidates as councilor and congressman, respectively filed for a preliminary injunction to merit a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the questionable 2010 Quezon City local budget on April 28. Leading the accused parties are the incumbent city mayor Sonny Belmonte, his vice-mayor Herbert Baustista, the rest of the councilors and the city treasurer Victor Endriga.
The budget allotted for Belmonte gave him 3-billion peso fund at his discretion, while his vice mayor has 125-million and 43-million for each councilor; controlling more than 42 percent of the whole budget at 9.4-billion pesos. Given this scenario, suspicions over an anomaly and irregularities on the approved budget started with the office of the mayor, the salaries and wages for regular posts is only at P4,933,332 while for other compensations, including representation allowance, transportation allowance, bonuses and other personnel benefits is at P106,740,526.
“An investigation has to be made within the members of the city council for passing the budget ordinance without any basis for an approved Local Development Plan,” Rosales launches his allegations and presents a certification from the City Secretary’s Office confirming his claim.
The figures show an alarm for Quezon City residents on the logic of 5-million for the salaries and wages or regular pay as up against the 106-million peso intended for other compensation and personal benefits. The approved budget is a reflection of the multitudes of employees being kept and employed by Belmonte’s office.
Rosales highlights the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7160 or Local Government Code, “Local budgets shall operate on the basis of an approved local development plan as stated on Articles 182 and 405, which Quezon City does not have.”
While Quezon City is continually threatened with unemployment, housing, over population, informal settlers, education and health issues; the Belmontes are still aggressive in putting their efforts to stay in power, which Rosales and Palacios are rallying behind to put an end to it.
“Another reason where the city government funds are concentrated right now [during this time of elections] is on the five Belmontes running for city local government seats,” adds Hans Palacios.
Sonny Belmonte’s daughter Joy Belmonte is gunning for the vice-mayoralty post, while RJ Belmonte for councilor in district 1, Kit Belmonte as congressman for district 2, Vince Belmonte for district 4 and the incumbent mayor is still running into office, this time as congressman for district 4 as well.
Rosales and Palacios are united to implement real people’s participation in the local government through the establishment of a local development plan and insist on allocating the mandatory 20 percent share of the LGUs for its development projects stated in Article 383.