THE City Council of Mabalacat passed on Wednesday, January 23, the city's budget for 2019 amounting to P1.7 billion.
Vice Mayor Christian Halili confirmed this but failed to reveal the salient points of the budget, saying “many things about the details need to be finalized.”
"It is our job to approve the city's budget," Halili said.
He also expressed optimism that the more than 2,700 job order (JO) employees of the City Hall will receive in the following days their salaries the City Government failed to release since October last year.
Halili said earlier that City Council suspended the approval of the city's 2019 budget after the executive department failed to produce documents to support the local government's expenditures.
Mayor Cris Garbo, a few months ago, said the JOs failed to receive their compensation because the City Council failed to approve their supplemental budget intended for the employees’ salaries from October to December 2018.
But Halili said that sometime in September, the City Council already approved a supplemental budget for the JO employees' salaries until December 2018.
As of Thursday, January 24, some job order employees started receiving their back pay, it was learned.
A few hours before the approval of the city's budget, Garbo and Halili, together with some councilors were spotted holding a meeting in one of the hotels in Clark Freeport.
When asked if the salaries of JOs will be released in the next few days, City Administrator Rosano Paquia said that they have yet to receive the final copy of the approved budget.