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Vice gov Vargas warns Cagayan gov’t for ‘not following’ OK’d 2017 budget

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan’s Vice Governor Melvin Vargas Jr warned the Provincial Health Office (PHO) for not following the provincial board’s version of the 2017 budget allotting funds for personnel in closed district hospitals.

In a regular session on Monday, January 15, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan learned the executive has yet to reinstate hospitals which were closed for lack of manpower.

Vargas said PHO head Doctor Carlos Cortina will be held “liable” if the administration of Governor Manuel Mamba will not follow the board’s version of the approved 2017 budget.

Defending the executive’s action, Cortina said such a move would make all district hospitals infirmaries.

He said the services will be “redundant” on basis of the hospitals’ proximity; and that this will affect other hospitals’ operations.

“That’s a violation even if we hear your reason that all the hospitals will be infirmary…Ano po ang gagawin sa pondong ginawa dito sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan para sa mga nasabing ospital kung hindi rin po ninyo susundin sa provincial health office?” Vargas said.

The SP earlier overrode the line vetoes of the 2017 budget. It maintained its budget cuts to some department to add fund for plantillas in closed district hospitals in an attempt to restart their operations.

“It’s frustrating because that’s the one we approved and the executive is not following…We should follow what we have approved here… Hindi po puwede yung gusto po ninyong bersyon sa executive yun po ang masusunod,” Vargas said.

Cortina told the board he will “look into” the issue but the vice governor said the PHO’s response was “not the answer” the board expected.

The closed hospitals were in Santa Ana, Gattaran, and Alcala towns.

The board is currently reviewing the updated long-term plan, and the 2018 plan and budget proposal. Northernforum.net

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