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Freeman Region

Fails to approve 2016 budget: Negros Oriental PB returns proposal to governor

Juancho R. Gallarde - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The Negros Oriental Provincial Board, temporarily presided by PB Member Mariant Escaño Villegas, on Monday’s special session, decided to return to the Office of the Governor the re-submitted budget proposal for 2016.

The budget proposal of Governor Roel Degamo — containing the Provincial Developmnent Physical Framework Plan, the Provincial Developmnet Investment Plan, and the Annual Investment Plan — was not acted upon and returned instead to the governor to the surprise of two PB members.

PB Members Liland Estacion and Erwin Michael Macias initially insisted to look first into the re-submitted budget, but were outvoted by the majority that opted not to tackle it, even if it was different from what they had opposed during the December 22 special session.

During that previous special session, PB Member Arnolfo Teves Jr. succeeded in convincing his peers not to take up the proposed budget, citing its major defects and that the Provincial Development Council earlier admitted it had made insertions of unauthorized items. The budget was then returned to the PDC for corrections in its PDPFP, PDIP and AIP items.

During the transport strike last week, Teves Jr. announced that the ballgame was already in the hands of the governor, who in turn retorted that the former was not telling the truth. Degamo said the PB journal on Resolution 843, dated December 23, showed that the proposed budget documents were not returned to his office yet. “How can I act on it when it is still in their (PB members) hands?” he asked.

The PB, in the December 28 special session called for Degamo, again approved a resolution, authored by PB Member Jessica Jane Villanueva, returning again the budget proposal to the governor, but without taking time to read the documents.

Estacion complained that the PB action was a clear manifestation of the real intention of the majority to derail the approval of the budget, with the assumption that it was still the same proposed budget submitted by Degamo allegedly last December 11.

Macias and Estacion also questioned the PB’s action of returning again the re-submitted budget without scrutinizing it at all. The PB justified it by saying that the submission of documents on December 11 was already past behind the timetable.

Estacion however argued that the PB records showed Degamo submitted the proposed budget on October 16, but was immediately returned by the PB due to the absence of an approved PDPFP and PDIP.

These documents however ate up more time for completion, considering that these have to go through first a province-wide public hearings before being tackled at the PDC full-body meeting for another three weeks.

Teves said he attended the three-week PDC meeting with fellow PB Members Butchoy Saycon, Villegas and Villanueva, and 2nd district Representative George Arnaiz.

This week, with no budget still for 2016, Degamo said the majority bloc in the PB succeeded in sabotaging it with the real intention of crippling the administration. “They are answerable to the people of the province, whom they are supposed to serve and represent,” he added. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

ANNUAL INVESTMENT PLAN

BUDGET

DEGAMO

ESTACION

GOVERNOR ROEL DEGAMO

MACIAS AND ESTACION

MEMBER ARNOLFO TEVES JR.

MEMBER JESSICA JANE VILLANUEVA

MEMBER MARIANT ESCA

MEMBERS BUTCHOY SAYCON

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