CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The City Council led by Vice Mayor Edwin Santiago met with Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (3rd district) over the weekend and presented its Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for the year 2011 amounting to P4 billion for possible outsourcing of funds.

The meeting held at Fortune Restaurant here was also aimed at discussing possible “areas of cooperation,” with Gonzales and the city council members.

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Santiago said in an interview that the actual cost of the AIP is more than the annual budget of the City Government.

“Currently we have almost an annual budget of P1.1 billion but the current AIP funding requirement is P4 billion. So we need funding outsourcing from the district and even from the provincial level,” Santiago said, stressing that the city’s comprehensive development plan is basically dependent on the strength of the AIP.

Santiago also expressed optimism in other possible development and infrastructure projects to be implemented with the help of Gonzales.

Among the key issues discussed in the meeting was the possibility of a congressional initiative for the development of the much lobbied 33-kilometer service road that would run parallel to both sides of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx).

Santiago said it is now time for the City Council to set political differences aside and reach out to other government leaders for mutual cooperation for the development of the city.

Gonzales, for his part, expressed full support for the City Government of San Fernando.

He said he is willing to help source funds for the many projects of the capital city.

Councilor Alex Patio, proponent of the NLEx service road proposal in this city, said that he is happy with the support of Gonzales and expressed optimism that the project would soon find a head start with the help of the lawmaker.