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Cagayan SP to focus next on supplemental, 2018 budget

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- After approving Cagayan’s 2017 Executive Budget, the Sangguniang Panalalawigan (SP) has its eyes set on the deliberation of the 2017 supplemental budget and the 2018 Executive Budget.

Vice-Governor Melvin Vargas, Jr said the board will tackle these on the next regular session, in order to focus on SP’s priority programs and ordinances for 2018.

“Nevertheless, tututukan po natin ito at may agenda po ito sa next regular session at marerefer po ito sa proper committee which is the finance and appropriation,” he told press after the special session on Friday, December 01.

Vice-Governor Vargas is also the chair of the Committee on Finance and Appropriations.

The 2018 budget amounts to P3.5 billion while the supplemental 2017 budget is P62 million.

However, Vargas reiterated that the budget was again submitted by the executive beyond the October 16 deadline as mandated by the Local Government Code.

The SP only received the proposed P3.5 billion on October 19, the first year anniversary of supertyphoon Lawin.

Vargas did not give any timeframe but he said, “Kung wala naman pong katanungan ang atin pong mga kasamahan ay bakit po hindi. Gaya nga po ng sabi ko, ako lang po ay ang presiding officer and we are a collegial body here in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.”

The budget’s approval also lifts a mandamus ordering the board to tackle nothing but the budget until its approval.

The vice governor said it is “good news” now that they can tackle other agenda such as municipal matters and other equally important agendas of the province.

He again assured that SP will continue their work with or without court cases ordering them to tackle budgets.

“May kaso man o wala, tuloy pa rin ang ating sesyon sa sangguniang panlalawigan at hindi naman po kami magpapaistorbo o magpapadala kahit sandamakmak pa ang ikaso sa amin,” he said.

“Kung yun naman ang kanilang forte na magkaso, so be it. I-entertain po natin ito at sasagutin po natin ito ng tama pero tuluy-tuloy pa rin po ang ating sesyon dito sa SP,” he added.

Vargas said although majority of the board are neophytes and that they may have a different political ideology, they will continue to fight what is “right” and “just” for the people.

“Ilaban lang po natin kung ano po ang tama, ang nararapat po sa ating mga mamamayan kung ano po ang mga pondo, karapatan po na malaman po ito, maisapubliko ng ating mga kababayan dito sa probinsya ng Cagayan,” he said.

“Rest assured, wala naman po kaming bakasyon dito kahit malapit na po ang pasko at new year. Tuluy-tuloy pa rin po ang aming serbisyo,” Vargas added. Northernforum.net

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