Pati pera pinupulitika! Ichi Yabut slams pro-Junjun Binay councilors for holding Makati’s 2019 budget hostage

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Makati Councilor Maria Concepcion “Ichi” Yabut has slammed her fellow councilors who are allied with former mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay for refusing to pass the city’s budget for 2019 due to politics.

Ichi, the Minority Floor Leader of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, belied Councilor Nemesio Yabut Jr’s statement that the appropriations ordinance cannot be passed yet because the city council needs to exercise its oversight functions first.

She said history would show that this is the first time under the term of Makati Mayor Abby Binay that the passage of the city budget has been delayed, since 12 councilors led by Yabut have jumped ship to Junjun’s camp.

“Based on official records, the city council calendared the 2017 budget for deliberations on November 23, 2016 and it was passed on December 22, 2016. The 2018 budget was calendared on November 8, 2017 and passed a week after,” Ichi said.

The councilor, who is allied with Abby, said there is no truth to Nemesio’s claim that the city council was unable to scrutinize the proposed P18.17-billion budget for 2019 because the mayor was rushing its passage.

She said there have been pre-budget hearings since July last year, and the appropriations ordinance have been calendared for hearings since November.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has yet to pass the city budget despite holding sessions on January 9 and 16. The impasse has led to a delay in the release of higher pay for city hall employees, in accordance with the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

Joining Nemesio in deferring deliberations on the budget bill are Councilors Divina Jacome, Shirley Aspillaga, Grazielle Iony De Lara-Bes, Ferdinand Eusebio, Leonardo Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Arlene Ortega, Nelson Pasia, Mary Ruth Tolentino, Marie Alethea Casal-Uy and Evelyn Delfina Villamor.