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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 7, 2013
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Ko backs down on SP plan

Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko did not push through with his plan to try to take up matters other than the 2013 budget at the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular session yesterday.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. had earlier warned that legal action will be taken against SP members who take up other matters.

Section 323 of the Local Government Code states that, in case the SP fails to pass the annual budget at the start of the year,” it shall continue to hold sessions, without additional remuneration for its members, until such ordinance is approved, and no other business may be taken up during such sessions,” the governor had pointed out.

Ko, who is a member of the SP Committee on Finance, admitted that he had consulted other board members on his plan to take up other matters at the session but they would not join him, so it was useless to pursue it.

Meanwhile, Ko said he has asked the SP secretariat for an inventory of all communications from various local government units, which need action from the SP.

As expected, the SP session yesterday lasted for about eight minutes, with Board Member Salvador Escalante, SP Committee on Finance chairperson, again calling for a deferment of the presentation of his final report on the budget for floor discussion.

The majority in the SP, allied with Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr., had earlier referred back to the Finance Committee the proposed P2.02 billion budget of the provincial government for further deliberations.

Since the start of the year, the SP has not been able to tackle other matters at its sessions because of its failure to approve the 2013 budget.*GPB

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