Dagupan SK chairman calls out SP majority

By March 12, 2023Top Stories


IN exasperation, the chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan of Dagupan delivered a privilege speech, calling on his colleagues in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, particularly those in the majority, to stop playing politics and finally pass the proposed 2023 budget citing the continued sufferings of many residents in the city, especially the youth, due to undelivered basic services and programs for absence of funds.

Councilor Joshua Bugayong reminded his colleagues that it has been five months since the Local Development Council (LDC), that includes members of the SK, submitted the complete requirements to help facilitate the early approval of the 2023 budget and lamented that the same remains languishing in the committee manned by the majority members.

Bugayong called on his “older brothers and sisters in the SP” to set aside politics and to start thinking of the general welfare of the people of the city.

Naunawaan naman nila siguro ang aming mga kalagayan dahil mga magulang din sila. Wala naman sigurong mga magulang na ayaw pag-aralin ang kanyang mga anak,” Bugayong said, referring to the thousands of scholars that could not avail of the scholarship funds simply because the annual budget has not been passed.

He cited several text messages he received through his cellphone and in social media castigating the ruling majority in the SP that has been holding committee hearings on the proposed budget since January.

In response, Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia condescendingly called out Bugayong initially “as the same SK chairman I used to see in the office of then Mayor Brian Lim who used to ask for financial support  for projects of the youth.”

Then he blamed Mayor Belen Fernandez, as the cause of the delay of the hearings of the committee on finance, budget and appropriations, for  refusing to cooperate.

He also blamed the department heads who did not show up at the committee hearings the whole month of January.

In a later interview, Minority Leader Michael Fernandez told the PUNCH that Erfe-Mejia “is again lying through his teeth.” He said the executive submitted the proposed budget to the Sanggunian way back in October last year “but the finance committee chairman only scheduled committee hearings in January, three months later.”

On Erfe-Mejia’s claim that the mayor did not appear in budget hearings, Fernandez said the chief executive was already in the SP session last February 7 but the majority voted to delete the full minutes of that session.

Fernandez said the supposed non-attendance of department heads in budget hearings was due to the failure of Erfe-Mejia to comply with the rules and protocol dictated by the Local Government Code. (Leonardo Micua)

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