SB finally oks P267M Isabela budget, 8 barangays get P160M ELCAC funds

Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla and her son vice mayor-elect Juan Miguel Montilla*

The Isabela, Negros Occidental, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) finally approved the P267, 064,349 budget of the town, Mayor Irene Montilla said Tuesday, June 7.

The SB waited until after the May 9 polls to approve the P267 million budget of the town, she said.

The SB is currently headed by Vice Mayor Renato Malabor Jr. who lost his bid for mayor of Isabela to Montilla in the May 9 polls.

Montilla said Isabela received a Department of the Interior and Local Government Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping, which requires among others the utilization of 85 percent of town’s annual budget.

They are rushing to use the just approved 2022 budget for various earmarked projects because they only have six months left, she said.

The budget will be used for the purchase of P7 million in farm implements for famers, the health needs of residents, strengthening of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office response efforts and other basic services, she said.

Meanwhile, eight remote barangays in Isabela are the recipients of P20 million each for a total of P160 million from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) funds, Montilla said.

The eight barangays are Riverside, Makilignit, Mansablay, Libas, Sikatuna, Sebucawan San Agustin and Cabcab, she said.

Among the projects identified for the barangays are farm to market roads and solar lights, she said.

The barangays were set to receive P4 million each in the first quarter, P5 million in the second quarter and P11 million in the fourth quarter, she said.

Montilla said she cannot say that Isabela is completely insurgency free but the presence of the rebels has simmered down.

Certain barangay captains were sympathetic to the New People’s Army in the past but now they see that the real sympathy should be with the Philippine government, she said.


Montilla said funds have already been allocated for the dialysis center adjacent to the Ignacio L. Arroyo Memorial District Hospital in Isabela, which is a project of outgoing Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo.

However, she does not know where the funds for the doctors and staff who will run the center will come from now, Montilla said.

The funds for the staff were supposed to have been provided by Arroyo from her congressional allocation.

Montilla said where the funding will come from will have to be discussed with officials of the fifth district. She has not discussed it with Rep.-elect Emilio “Dino” Yulo yet, Montilla said.

The mayor and her son, vice mayor-elect Juan Miguel Montilla, said they will reach out to the opposition in the SB so they can work together for the good of Isabela.

Five out of eight winning councilors in Isabela are Montilla allies.

Now we can have real change for the improvement of Isabela, the mayor said.

The vice mayor-elect said he is taking a legislation course to prepare him for the job.

He wants to show the people of Isabela that he is ready, prepared and willing to serve and has their best interest in mind, Juan Miguel Montilla said.

The vice mayor-elect said he wants to be prepared even if they have the majority in the SB and is open to healing and working together with the opposition.

Each barangay has specific needs that will be addressed, and assistance will be fair and equal for all, he said.*

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