Sinasabotahe si mayora! Abby-Junjun feud heats up as City Council blocks 2019 budget’s passage

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The fight between siblings Abby and Junjun Binay continues to heat up as councilors allied with the former mayor blocked the passage of the 2019 executive budget, which would have funded the salary increase of more than 10,000 Makati City Hall employees.

Twelve councilors led by Majority Floor Leader Nemesio Yabut Jr. voted to postpone deliberations on theP18.17-billion budget for 2019 during council sessions held on January 9 and 16, leading to an impasse in the release of higher pay for city hall employees.

Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo, the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, said the council has been discussing the proposed 2019 budget since October last year but councilors allied with Junjun have been stalling its passage.

Joining Yabut 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.

Meanwhile, councilors allied with Mayor Abby Binay who wanted to have the city’s appropriations passed immediately are Minority Floor Leader Maria Concepcion Yabut, Virgilio Hilario Jr., Luis Javier Jr., Armand Padilla, and Rodolfo San Pedro Jr.

Lagdameo said the council’s continued failure to pass the city’s budget has led to the reenactment of the 2018 budget and consequently, a delay in the release of city employees’ pay hike.

As a first class city, Makati could fully implement the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law for government employees in one go. However, since the budget bill is still pending in the city council, the computation used for workers’ salaries are still based on the 2018 rates.