TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Voting 8-2, Cagayan’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has remanded the updated 2018-2022 Provincial Development and Investment Program (PDIP), giving 10 days for the Provincial Development Council (PDC) en banc to “refine” and “correct” the updated PDIP.
The board adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Finance and Appropriations (CFA) in their regular session on Wednesday, February 14.
In its report, the CFA cited 12 observations and questions on the PDIP. Among these, the CFA said, is that “most, if not all, PPAs (Programs, Projects, and Activities) have no program of work.”
The CFA also reported that some PPAs have no “proper description or intended location, “citing the construction of visitor’s pavilions, comfort rooms, and pasalubong centers as examples.
The committee also questioned the inclusion of big budget projects which were not part of the original PDIP have been included in the updated version of the medium-term plan. “Why is it that these big projects were not thought of when the 2017-2022 PDIP was crafted?” the CFA said.
The CFA also suggested to PDC to allot funds for district hospitals in case the provincial government needs additional funds if the funding from the health department comes short.
It also asserted that any plans such as allocation of huge funds for new buildings in the subcapitol in Bangag, Lal-lo need careful study by the board.
The board, via a resolution, will also return the 2018 Annual Investment Program (AIP) and Annual Budget for reconsideration of the executive department.
Meanwhile, those who voted in favor of the remand were board members Olive Pascual, AJ Ponce, Cris Barcena, Jeff Vargas, Vilmer Viloria, Archie Layus Jr, Perla Tumaliuan, and Larry Ting. Board members Rosauro Resuello and Rodrigo De Asis voted negative.
In a media interview after session, Vice Governor and SP presiding officer Melvin “Boy” Vargas Jr said the executive department should strictly follow budgeting process, adding that they are not “politicking.”
“Malinaw na malinaw po na maraming violations po ang nandito po sa pagpasa ng PDIP na hindi konektado ang ating PDPFP [Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan] o long term plan kumpara mo sa updated medium-term plan natin…at ang ating annual plan,” he told media.
Vargas, also the chairman of the CFA, said the 2018 AIP had bigger figures compared to the PDIP’s funding.
He showed the media a table comparing the AIP, updated PDIP, and approved PDIP, and pointed out some highlighted items which had “discrepancies.”
As an example, Aggao Nac Cagayan, the vice governor said, appeared to have a funding of P10 million in the 2018 plan but only had a P5 million budget in the updated medium-term plan.
Once the PDC en banc submits a revised PDIP, Vargas said this will be endorsed again to the CFA for deliberation.
He also warned the executive department not to submit “half baked documents” and proposals.
“Nasa kanila po ang bola. Gawin naman nila ang trabaho nila, hindi yung magpapasa sila dito sa sanggunian na maraming irregularities,” Vargas said.
“If we feel that they followed our observations and recommendations, there is no reason why we will not approve the PDIP. After that, let’s move forward with [tackling the] AIP and budget,” he added.
Meanwhile, administration-ally board member De Asis suggested to the board if the PDC ex-Committee should instead amend the new PDIP – a motion the majority disagreed.
Oversight agencies such as the budget department earlier said the PDIP or medium-term development plan is the basis for the province’s short-term plans; and must first be approved before tackling the 2018 annual plan and budget. Northernforum.net