TOP OF THE WEEK
P2.1Billion Capitol budget approved


Finally! After a protracted impasse that lasted well beyond the May 2016 elections, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved the P 2.1 billion annual budget of the provincial government, Wednesday.

SP Member Mariant Escano-Villegas moved for the approval of the annual budget duly seconded by all other SP members present.

The approval of the budget was welcome news particularly to the regular employees as this paved the way for them to receive their salary increases, mid-year bonus, year- end bonus, clothing allowance amounting to P 90.3 million.

Nevertheless, Governor Roel Degamo didnít quite get everything he wanted under his proposal as the SP in the exercise of their power of the purse re-aligned some of the appropriations to other projects than what was originally proposed prompted mainly by the adjustments requested by the department heads who were interviewed by the SP members.

Under the approved budget, the Governorís intelligence fund was not deleted; the appropriation for the purchase of motor vehicles was not slashed but the number of units was increased based on the canvass of the prevailing market cost; financial assistance to the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were increased ranging from P 1 million to P1.5 million; funds allocated for medical assistance in all district hospitals were augmented and financial assistance for BHWs amounted to P 5 million was also included.

Meanwhile, Vice- Governor Mark Macias explained that the approval of the proposed budget was a product of long hours of deliberations and acknowledged the efforts of all his colleagues to come up with a balanced budget.

He expressed hope that the proposed budget for next year 2017 will be submitted to the SP much earlier so that all provisions will be thoroughly discussed and differences will be promptly reconciled prior to approval. (By Dems Demecillo)


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