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Cagayan PIO consults budget office on P1,500 info program budget

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan Provincial Information Office (CPIO) consulted with the Provincial Budget Office for a possible remedy for their P1,500 budget for public information programs.

CPIO officer-in-charge Rogelio Sending personally referred to budget officer Edna Lingan on Wednesday, January 17, to discuss “legal” ways to solve their slashed budget.

The office described SP’s move as “punishment” from the provincial board. CPIO was critical of the provincial board last year over the delayed approval of the 2017 budget.

READ: (TIMELINE: The delayed approval of Cagayan’s 2017 budget)

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) approved in the 2017 budget P1,000 from the proposed P 1,528,000 for CPIO’s advertising expenses. From P979,000, only P500 was approved for the office’s printing and binding expenses.

Further, SP also cut CPIO’s maintenance and other operating expenses from P1 million to half a million. The P293,000 budget for Gasoline, Oil and Lubricants was also reduced to P100,000.

(READ: Prov’l board cuts Cagayan info program budget by P3.2M)

Although he respects the SP’s role, the CPIO head accused majority of the board and Vice Governor Melvin Vargas Jr of “harassing” their freedom of expression and duty of informing the public especially during times of calamities.

Sending added that they will continue operations despite the slashed budget.

Meanwhile, SP earlier said the CPIO was “ineffective” and “unproductive,” also accusing the office of being biased in reporting. The board also said they were victims of political attacks from the CPIO.

(READ: Cagayan prov’l board hits CPIO for ‘false’ claim on closure of hospitals)

The province is under currently re-enacted budget as the board scrutinizes the 2018 budget. Northernforum.net

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