CALL FOR COUNCIL SPECIAL SESSION UNHEEDED IN DAGUPAN

DAGUPAN CITY — A call of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez on members of the city council to hold a special session on Monday for the purpose of approving the P768-million annual budget for 2016 before the end the year fell on deaf ears.

No special session was held as Vice Mayor and Council presiding officer Bryan Lim reportedly instructed a high-ranking staff of the council secretariat not to send any notice to the councilors as they are already on holiday recess.

A source quoted Lim as saying that he and the councilors are not keen on breaking their holiday recess, insinuating that approval of the annual budget can wait.

Of the 11 city councilors, Lim has only two or three allies while the rest or seven to eight are with Mayor Belen Fernandez.

Councilor Jeslito Seen, an ally of Mayor Fernandez admitted he did not receive any notice by text message or letter from the council secretariat about the special session.

Seen, chairman on the council’s appropriations committee, said employees of the city council secretariat led by senior officers were on a one-day study tour in Baguio City last Monday.

Seen echoed the word of Mayor Fernandez on the need to approve the annual budget before the end of this year to to avoid a reenacted budget.

A reenacted budget, said Seen, will have a bad consequence to Dagupan as construction of various infrastructure projects in the barangays and in public schools, particularly those for senior high school, will be delayed.

He added job order employees will only get their wages once the annual budget is approved.

Seen believes approval of the budget is being politicized by the minority. PNA