TOP OF THE WEEK
Degamo majority looms in new SP


After a resounding victory, Gov. Degamo believes that the Arnaiz camp boys will now jump to his camp and thus, Degamo is hopeful to get a new majority in the provincial board.

There is a reason for Governor Roel Degamo to be optimistic that he could soon muster a majority within the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to push his legislative agenda unlike in the previous term.

There are 12 members of the SP excluding the Vice-Governor, who is the presiding officer; Degamo only needs to have at least 7 allies to form the majority.

Degamo’s allies who won under his ticket are Atty. Arturo Umbac and Kit Marc B. Adanza. But it is expected that Liga ng mga Barangay President Ma. Rosario F. Ocay, who assumed the seat following the election of Arnie Teves to a congressional seat, will soon join Degamo’s camp after Mabinay Mayor Ernie Uy, her principal, who used to be with Arnaiz, has vowed to support the incumbent governor.

On the issue of passing the 2016 annual budget SP members Atty. Edmund Dy and Nilo Sayson have also reportedly pledged to approve it when presented to the plenary.

SP member Jaime L. Reyes is also expected to join Degamo’s camp after his brother Guihulngan Mayor Guido Reyes also pledged his support to the incumbent governor after years of partisan feud.

The crucial 7th ally would depend on who would be elected President of the Philippine Councilors League on August 22. Degamo has backed ex NBI man Councilor Miguel Dungog of Siaton against the incumbent Chester Lim of Jimalalud, who has always been a reliable supporter of Vice-Governor Macias.

Of late, Degamo may have realized that control of the SP is essential in the success of his various projects considering that chamber has been dominated by his critics for the past 3 years and sharply differed with the administration’s priorities.

Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan elected the various chairmen of the Standing Committees with SP members Ma. Antonia E. Villegas, Atty. Edmund Dy and Atty. Rommel Erames heading three panels each.

The Steering Council is chaired by Vice- Governor Mark Macias; Villegas is elected Vice- Chairman and Atty. Erames sits as member.

Villegas chairs the powerful Committee on Accounts and Appropriations, Committee on Tourism, Culture and Arts, Women and Family; Jessica Jane Villanueva retains the Chairmanship of the Committee on Peace and Order; Atty. Dy stays as Chairman of the Committee on Education, Ways and Means and Legislative Matters; Atty. Rommel Erames is Chairman on Rules, Human Rights and Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Energy while neophyte Kit Marc Adanza chairs the Committee on Public Utilities and Franchises. (By Dems Demecillo)


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