Pass Isabela budget, guv appeals to VM

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Thursday, March 10, appealed to Vice Mayor Renato Malabor Jr. to see to the passage of the 2022 budget of Isabela town in Negros Occidental.

Lacson, who was in Isabela to distribute assistance to typhoon victims, said he sent a letter to Malabor to remind the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) to act on the matter.

“It is an ongoing process, it has not been resolved. I just hope that the Sangguniang Bayan will finally resolve their issues and pass the town’s budget for 2022,” he said.

Lacson said Malabor, as SB presiding officer, should guide the SB members to pass the 2022 budget.

“Do what is right and lead your Sangguniang Bayan,” Lacson said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government said if the budget is not approved, the Isabela town government will have to operate on a reenacted budget, he said.

Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla said the SB’s failure to pass the 2022 budget is causing the local government to operate on a limited amount, which has affected basic services.

It has also meant the non-payment of the town’s job order workers since January 16.

Montilla said she has tried to hold a dialog with the vice mayor and the members of the SB to resolve the problem but they have refused.

Malabor told her he is just the presiding officer and he needs the consensus of the SB members, Montilla said.

The SB members are asking for an allocation of about P2 million from the budget for their job orders workers, publication expenses, and other matters, she said.

“This would have been okay if they had attended the four budget hearings that we had called last year and now they want us to revise everything. My question is why they not attended when the budget was being made,” she said.

She said because of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling the budget of Isabela for 2022 would be about P271 million if approved that would cover a lot of the basic needs of residents.

The reenacted budget is P197 million, she said.

“This will backfire on all of us, it will be to the detriment of the town…The people will suffer because of this,” she said, adding that “without a dialog how can we move forward”.*

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