DILG warns Dagupan SP after failing to pass 2023 budget

By January 15, 2023Headlines


A RANKING Department of the Interior and Local Government official confirmed that Dagupan City is the only local government unit in Region 1 that failed to adopt and pass its 2023 annual budget on deadline.

Provincial DILG Director Virgilio Sison confirmed the status of Dagupan when he appeared before the city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod during its first regular session in 2023 to offer his help after the legislative body failed to pass the city’s annual budget on December 31, 2022.

Sison said Dagupan and Laoac, Pangasinan were the only LGUs in Pangasinan that did not pass their annual budgets for 2023 up to December 31, 2022. But Laoac, according to Sison, was able to pass it on January 9.

Napaka-simple po ang sinasabi ng batas, kayo po ay ini-encourage bilang public servant na maipasa ang ating budget within days or weeks,” Sison appealed to the Dagupan SP aware that Mayor Belen Fernandez submitted the Proposed Annual Budget for 2023, including its integral plans and its corresponding Annual Investment Plan to the SP two days before the deadline on October 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, Councilor and Minority Floor Leader Michael Fernandez said Proposed Ordinance No, 0-818 adopting the annual budget for 2023, which he authored, was already referred to the SP committee on finance, budget and appropriation, headed by councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia, on October 18.

Fernandez said the Proposed Ordinance was  included in the agenda of the SP sessions on November 15 and 22 last year but it was not taken up by the majority.

Fernandez said SP majority, composed of seven councilors, ignored the reminders from DILG and Mayor Belen Fernandez, and even after Liga ng mga Barangay headed by Councilor Marcelino Fernandez passed its own resolution calling on the SP majority to pass the budget and the Supplemental Budget No. 1.

Councilor Fernandez asked City Secretary Ryan Ravanzo whether he received any committee report from the majority, the latter replied in the negative.

Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia countered and claimed that committee meetings were held on the proposed budget on November 11 and another in December.  But it was only during the December 27 regular session when Erfe-Mejia announced committee hearings on the budget will be held “next year” with no specific dates.

It was only in that session that the 2023 annual budget was calendared.

Ravanzo said he only received the schedule for hearings last week as follows: January 10 -Senior Citizens Office, Population Office, Mayor’s Office and City Health Office; January 17 -City Human Resource Management Office, City Administrator’s Office, City Library, City Register of Deeds; January 24 – City Public Employment Service Office, City Information Office, City Management Information Office.

There is no schedule set for City Engineering Office, Public Order and Safety Office, Treasurer’s Office, City Agriculture Office, PARMC, City Assessor’s Office and other offices.  (Leonardo Micua)

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