News and UpdatesIn the NewsDegamo offers Provl Board P10M each “for unity”

Degamo offers Provl Board P10M each “for unity”

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Gov. Roel Degamo, addressing the usually- adversarial Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has offered Provincial Board Members a discretionary fund of P10 million each this year.

The Governor made the offer in remarks made to the Provincial Board during last Monday’s regular session, as he reached out to the Board in a quest for unity.

Of the P10 million fund, P5 million can be used for soft projects such as computers, medicines, etc., while the other P5 million can be allotted for infrastructure projects like roads and bridges identified by each respective Board Member.

The money will come from the Province’s 20 percent Economic Development Fund, which has to pass through the Provincial Development Council for approval, before the Provincial Board can officially realign the budget.

Another promise made by the Governor to the Board Members is an allocation of a total of P150 million that he slashed from the Agriculture budget that former Gov. Pryde Henry Teves had earlier designated.

Degamo said the P150 million earlier earmarked by Teves for agriculture will be divided equally among the three Districts in the Province at P50 million each, for the respective Board Members to allocate for livelihood projects.

The Governor’s allies in the Provincial Board are in the minority. Four of the incumbent Provincial Board Members ran with Degamo’s party, while the six others ran with the party of Teves.

Degamo also released P500,000 that was initially appropriated by Teves, with the promise of the release of another P2.5 million for the rest of the year, once it goes through the Provincial Development Council next week.

Board Member Jessica Villanueva (1st District) welcomed the offer of the Governor but expressed apprehension that while the money will actually be included in the budget, the Governor can still withhold the fund if he does not like the Board Member.

She said she had a hard time as Board Member for nine years with Degamo as governor. Admitting that she and the Governor are in a “love-hate relationship”, she said that even if we do not like the Governor, we have to respect the office he represents.

Degamo, for his part, admitted that there was a lot of “political power play” in the past. This, he confessed, was the reason that Villanueva’s fund for her projects was not released.

But he promised Board Member Villanueva that this time around, the Board Members will be sure to get their respective allocations.

Board Member Julius Sabac (1st District) also welcomed the offer, but said he hopes there are “no strings attached” to the offer.

Sabac said allocating funds for Board Members is not required under the law, and is only a gesture of goodwill on the Governor’s part.

He vowed to do what he has to do for the good of the people.


 

 

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