Alvarez, Lacson deny ‘politicking’-A A +A
Friday, September 7, 2012
VICE Governor Genaro Alvarez and Board Member Patrick Lacson clarified that they are not politicking on the controversial P240-million supplemental budget pending before the Provincial Board.
"I assure you there is no politics here. Believe me. If there is politics here, I should have not allowed Board Member Escalante here. Politics will only start during the campaign period," Alvarez said in reaction to the statement of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. that the members of the provincial board are politicking.
In the same statement, the governor also challenged the members of the Provincial Board, including the vice governor, to a debate on the issue.
Alvarez clarified that he just echoed the sentiments of the members of the provincial board who are raising questions about the proposed supplemental budget.
He said he is convinced with the presentation made by Board Member Salvador Escalante (2nd District), a known allay of the governor, about the allocations for the P240-million budget which will be loaned from the Land Bank of the Philippines.
However, as the presiding officer, Alvarez explained that he just participates in the voting in case of a tie.
On his part, Lacson said: "Not one board member had declared whom to support, so why challenge us to a debate while judging us of politicking? We engage in an investment using people's money, so we are (trying to) understand the study presented by the executive. If ever there will be questions, arguments or debate on the loan, they have to be within the council during the session and not in public because, if that happens, that's what we may call politicking."
He further said that the essence of legislation lies on the preservation of check and balance. Board Member's debate with the governor regarding his vision, platform and intention to loan would be inappropriate. The governor is an executive officer and it is inappropriate for an executive to debate with the members of the legislative.
Alvarez said that being allegedly questioned by the board members in the proposed loan is the P170-million allocation for Negros First Cyber Center Phase ll.
The Provincial Government has already availed of P450 million for the construction of the Cyber Center Phase l which is still ongoing with only about 20-percent completion.
On the P10-million additional classroom for the NOHS, Alvarez said that sentiment aired by the board members is that practically all the students at the said high school are from Bacolod City where it is located.
Alvarez said that the board members believe that the funds can be put to better use if spent for construction of school buildings in the localities in the countryside.
He also clarified that the board members are independent-minded officials who have their own opinions. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 07, 2012.