Guv lauds La Castellana officials-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
NEGROS Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. commended on Wednesday the La Castellana officials headed by Mayor Alberto Nicor and Vice Mayor Felix Feria for arriving at a compromise agreement to end the nagging budget impasse that has affected hundreds of municipal scholars.
This, following the non-passage of the town's 20 percent development fund (PDF), Capitol said in a media release.
Marañon said he is happy that both camps were able to present their side of the issue at a Provincial Council hearing initiated by Provincial Council Member Alain Gatuslao, chairperson of the Committee on Laws and Ordinances, Tuesday.
"Dialogue is very important. With the intervention of Provincial Council Member Gatuslao, both Mayor Nicor and Vice Mayor Feria were provided the opportunity to thresh out their opposing appreciation of legal opinions," Marañon noted.
He also lauded Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and councilors Rolando Ponsica, Raul Rivera, Patrick Leonard Lacson and Victor Javellana for attending the hearing and supporting the process at helping find solution to the problem of the local government unit (LGU).
Nicor and Feria are at loggerheads with the former pushing for the passage of the 20 Percent PDF pegged at P19.7 million, in which P4 million is allotted for the municipal scholarship program.
Feria earlier argued that scholarships are supposed to be contained in the General Fund, not in the 20 percent PDF, as per guidelines from the Department of Budget Management.
But Nicor pointed out that inclusion of the scholarship fund in the 20 Percent PDF has been their practice since 2008.
As a result of the SP intervention, which lasted for more than two hours, both the camps of Nicor and Feria agreed to "sacrifice the budget for the second tranche salary increases of municipal employees to pay for the tuition fees of town scholars."
The win-win formula, however, will be firmed up when Nicor, Feria and the Sangguniang Bayan members meet today or tomorrow to go through the details of the solution, Provincial Council Member Cristina Chuanico-Vera explained Wednesday.
Last week, more than 500 La Castellana residents held a picket in front of the municipal hall to air their sentiments over the non-approval of the 20 percent PDF. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 05, 2013.