Mayor vetoes disputable 2021 budget line items

MAYOR Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has vetoed disputable line items in the 2021 annual budget in the amount of P4.38 million that was approved by the City Council early this month.

"Our people deserve only the best," Salazar said, as she signed Ordinance 741, vetoing items that mostly social service programs for being "ultra vires" and or are prejudicial to the public welfare in accordance with provisions of the Local Government Code.

The social service programs vetoed include the "Largo Vida (Long LIfe)," Salva Vida (Save Lives)" and "Cuida Vida," (Take care lives), which were intended to benefit the senior citizens, low income families, disadvantaged communities, marginalized sectors, most affected families of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and other vulnerable members of society, but were scrapped by the City Council.

Salazar said the majority members of the City Council voted down the Largo Vida program, an initiative that her administration started in 2018, which she intended to expand to over 60,000 beneficiaries in 2021.

"Due to their mangling of the budget, around 17,000 senior citizens will stop receiving daily maintenance medicines, and a projected 60,000 will no longer have the opportunity to be part of the Largo Vida program," she said.

She said that also to be affected by the City Council disapproval of the project are the 400 workers who will be directly affected, women and out-of-school youth, mostly breadwinners of their families, who were tapped as life liners to tirelessly deliver this assistance door to door to every senior citizen as they will lose their jobs and will be displaced in the dawning of the new year while the pandemic is still taking its toll.

"These programs were carefully planned by the Executive Department to be sustainable and to introduce a trailblazing brand of service to our constituents that is projected to have a significant impact in the lives of the target beneficiaries," the mayor said. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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