City mayors’ league wants SILG Abalos to help resolve row

By September 17, 2023Top Stories


THE League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) joined the Dagupan City government in seeking a solution to the impasse over the passage of the latter’s 2023 annual budget, making it the only LGU in the country today still without an approved 2023 annual budget.

In a talk to newsmen last September 8, Mayor Belen Fernandez said the executive board of LCP, headed by Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, passed a resolution asking Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos to intervene and help Dagupan City secure its annual budget that the seven majority in the Sanggunian refuse to pass since December 2022.

She said some city mayors who sympathize with Dagupan City’s situation went to the extent of setting an appointment between her and Secretary Abalos even after she told them she already had an initial discussion with Abalos, presenting the sorry state of affairs in the city because of the refusal of the majority to pass the Dagupan’s 2023 annual city budget she submitted.

In that special meeting, Fernandez said she narrated the effects of having no approved annual budget, and what her predecessor’s administration did to cover-up clear violations of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Act by erasing computer files about ghost projects and projects abandoned by the contractors of the past city administration.

But Sec. Abalos, she said, was non-committal then because he was in the city on April 30 to launch DILG’s BIDA Fun Run and the P864.91 million budget that the majority approved instead was just submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for review.

She told her audience that the DBM eventually declared the majority’s budget as “Inoperative in its entirety” on July 5, 2023.”

When asked by newsmen during her press conference last week whether her meeting with Abalos resulted in a positive action, Fernandez simply said: “Nag-uusap na ang mga lawyers ko… tignan natin kung papaano,” and clarified she was referring her private lawyers and not from the city. (Leonardo Micua)

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