Governor Aris Aumentado remained unbothered by the decision of four Provincial Board (PB) members to not support the passage of his administration’s proposed budget for 2023.
According to Aumentado, what matters is that the appropriations ordinance was passed on time regardless of the single vote against it and the lack of three other votes due to abstention.
Being a 13-man body, the PB needs a majority vote of at least seven to pass ordinances and resolutions.
“Ilaha pod na nga katungod kung nay mo object nay mo abstain as long as na approved ang budget happy na kaayo ko ana, para maka serbisyo tas mga Bol-anon,” said Aumentado.
On Tuesday, the PB passed on third and final reading Appropriations Ordinance No. 022-2022 which includes the province’s P3.9 billion budget for 2023, Aumentado’s first full year in office.
The ordinance also included a P9.7 million allocation for the operation of Café Caloy.
It was noted that PB Member Vierna Boniel-Maglasang voted against the bill’s passage and PB Members Aldner Damalerio and Venzencio Arcamo abstained. Meanwhile, PB Member Elpidio Bonita who was present during the session was considered absent as he left during the voting.
The rest of the legislative body voted in favor of the appropriation ordinance pooling a total of eight votes.
The four legislators who did not support the appropriations bill are the only four remaining members of the opposition which started out as the dominant faction when the PB convened in July.
According to PB Secretary Boni Quirog, all three opposition PB members had the same reason for not supporting the proposed ordinance.
They were against the allocation of funds for the Office of Governance Accountability and Review (OGAR), which was primarily established to investigate alleged anomalous transactions during the previous administrations particularly that of former governor Art Yap, who once led the group which is now the opposition.
As stated by Quirog, Boniel aired her opposition by arguing that the OGAR should be created through an ordinance first and not through an Executive Order for it to receive an allocation through the appropriation ordinance.
“Kabahin kang Board Member Mimi Maglasang sa iyahang pag oppose, supak siya na e-apil sa budget ang OGAR kay matud niya wala kuno ni ma-create na usa ka opisina kay Executive Order ra man ang gibasehan niini ug matud niya wala man gani kuno siya kopya sa EO,” said Quirog.
Both Damalerio and Arcamo, who are members of the PB’s Committee on Appropriations and Budget, expressed the same sentiment but did not vote against the measure as they were in favor of the rest of the proposed budget.
“Uyon sila sa maong punto ni BM Maglasang apan dili sila makaboto against sa maong budget tungod kay membro sila sa committee ug co-sponsor pa man gani sila. So sa ato pa, all other contents of the budget, okay sila except sa OGAR,” Quirog added. (A. Doydora)