The approval of the P1.418 billion budget of the Negros Oriental government this year was delayed anew for lack of quorum in the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Tuesday.
Vice Gov. Apolinario Arnaiz Jr. and SP members Georgita Martinez, Scot Wayne Husain and Jessica Jane Koppin of the first district; Erwin Michael Macias and Melliemoore Saycon, second district; and Edmund Dy and Peve Ligan of the third district, were absent. They were the same BMs who voted against the approval of the proposed budget last year.
A source from the Sanggunian secretariat said they had sent verbal notices that they were either official business, on vacation, or on forced leave.
BMs Saleto Erames, Miguel Angelo Teves, Arnolfo Teves Jr., Rodrigo Alanano, Fretzie Lumjod Zanoria and Liland Estacion were present in the first scheduled SP session for 2013.
In his sponsorship speech, Erames said he believes there are efforts to sabotage the approval of the 2013 for political reasons. He said the objections raised were not specified, were only observations, and should not be dignified as sufficient grounds for the disapproval of the proposed budget.
“Disapproval of the budget on grounds that the plan of the executive is not in accordance with the party’s interest, or because it is not palatable to one’s personal taste and discretion, may amount to usurpation of the executive’s discretion and prejudicial to public interest, resulting in the disruption of government functions and operations,” he added.
He told his colleagues that, in casting their votes, they should be guided by what is good for the people and not for the political party.
Gov. Roel Degamo said the actions of majority of the SP members speak for themselves.
“It is not the governor they are holding hostage but the interest of the public: the indigents who need the medicines, the projects requested by the barangays, and the wage increase of the 1,600 regular employees of the provincial government under the Salary Standardization Law,” he added.*JG
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