Mayor Cruz decries SB’s inaction of 2017 budget

PAMPLONA, CSur—Town Mayor Ace Cruz today said that until now he does not see the possibility that their annual budget would be approved by the Sangguniang Bayan, headed by Vice Mayor Gemino Imperial.

Pamplona Mayor Ace Cruz
Photo by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Bicol Standard exclusive video by Oscar Esmenda

In an interview by BICOL STANDARD, Cruz emphasized that he had submitted his executive budget on November 4, 2016, and was received on the same day by the Sangguiang Bayan Secretary.

“I am surprised that until now, I have not even received a word, recommendation or findings regarding our budget. It is very important for the smooth operation of our town. I remember before, when I was still a councilor, that once the annual budget is submitted to us, it only takes about 2 months before it is approved,” he said.

Mayor Cruz has recommended an annual budget of P106,108,449.00 for this year. Included in the said budget, under the Economic Development Fund (EDF) are the allocations for four (4) covered courts for Barangays San Gabriel, Tambo, Veneracion and Salvacion.

The chief executive emphasized that if the annual budget is not approved, their social services will be seriously affected.

“The budget for burial assistance, medical assistance, scholarship, transportation assistance for those in dire need of help will all be hampered,” he said.

“Our water rationing program in the river barangays will also be affected, since as of now there are only four (4) drivers who are assigned to the vital program,” he added.

Meanwhile, sensing the possibility that his problem would further escalate due to political reasons, Mayor Cruz said that he had brought this matter to the attention of the Office of the President of the Philippines.

“I believe that there is a grand design that the Sangguniang Bayan will not approve our 2017 annual budget. I am anticipating this to happen because they are very partisan in this regard. They they belong to the other side of the political camp and their objective perhaps is to paralyze my administration,” he narrated.

Mayor Cruz clarified that he has made many attempts to talk to Vice Mayor Imperial to solve this impasse, but was allegedly not given any chance. (With report from Oscar Esmenda)