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City Council finds CSF’s P70-M supplemental budget ‘questionable’

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Sangguniang Panlungsod’s Committee on Appropriations has questioned the P70-million supplemental budget proposed by City Mayor Vilma Caluag intended for the remaining five months of fiscal year 2022.

In her August 2 letter to the City Council, Caluag said that the approval of the said request would “enable the City Government to address its expenditure concerns.”

However, in a recent committee hearing, Committee on Appropriations vice chair Ayzel Macalino said the budget proposed by the mayor would be looked into to ensure that the details of the appropriations as well as the intended allocations are well specified.  

Macalino said they had been asking the city government heads to detail the appropriations and to ensure appropriations intended for certain sectoral beneficiaries will get what is due to them. 

“We assure Fernandinos that the city council is doing its best to safeguard their interests,” Macalino said. Asked if the city council would slash some budget allocations in the proposal, the lady councilor said that the council is checking on the reasonability of some of the requests.

Meanwhile, Councilor Enrico Hizon shared the sentiment of Macalino, stressing that the council is looking at the details of the proposal to ensure that intended allocations are well defined. He added that they express concerns over allocations for scholars, senior citizens, along with fuel and lubricants item amounting to P23 million.

“We only want documents that will support their supplemental budget request. Hindi po natin pwedeng hindi pag-aralan ito dahil kami po mananagot sa mga Fernandino,” Hizon said.

Under the proposed budget, the administration of Caluag is asking for P5 million for donations, P14,160,000 for senior citizens, and P20 million in expanded assistance to individuals in crisis situations, among others.   

The committee said that it would not be long now before they will wrap up meetings on the said proposal once the requirements requested are met by the department heads of the Caluag administration.