Board members dared to withdraw candidacies-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
BOARD Member Melvin Ibañez challenged his colleagues at the Provincial Board to withdraw their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) to get rid of politics behind the disapproval of the province’s P2.2-billion proposed budget for this year.
"Clearly, there is politics in the disapproval of the budget. Daw gin-gapus nila ang mga kamot ni Guv sang indi pagpasar sang budget (They tied the hands of the governor in not passing the 2013 budget),” said Ibañez who is the running mate of Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. for the May election.
However, Board Member Patrick Lason, who is running for reelection under Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez, said in a statement that they found out some irregularities in the proposed budget.
"I disagree that our disapproval could hamper basics services for our constituents. When re-enacted based on last year’s budget, basic services and operating expenses are covered. Only the grants and donation portion, discretionary funds and a few other perks of the executive office may be affected. Therefore, what Negrenses must know more than anything is why majority of the provincial council disapproved the 2013 budget in the first place. The answer is lack of trust and confidence," Lacson said.
Lacson also clarified that there is no politics involved in their disapproval of the budget.
"Majority of the SP (Provincial Board) members disapproved the budget for many reasons that included irregularities and even illegal technicalities and it would be gross negligence on our part if we remain ‘blind, deaf and mute’ about it. May the people of Negros understand our responsibility as their check and balance in the Capitol,” added Lacson.
“We are only 17 elected provincial officials – governor, vice governor and the 15 SP (PB) members. It would be unfair to almost 1.2 million Negrenses if we just allow things to go on, even if we still have the option to decide on doing what is right," Lacson said.
But Ibañez said that doctors detailed at the provincial hospitals are already alarmed at the disapproval of the budget.
He said the extension of the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City could not fully operate the additional 100-bed capacity because of the budget disapproval.
He said the extension was supposed to decongest the hospital and that the required budget for its operation is appropriated funds through the Supplemental Budget.
The hospital in Sipalay City that is expected to be completed on April would also be affected, as the Provincial Government could not purchase the needed medical equipment and the salaries for its personnel need also appropriation from the new budget, he said Ibañez.
He also urged the church and non-government organizations to knock on the doors of the Provincial Board members who opposed the approval of the budget to touch on their consciences.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 09, 2013.