By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
After the Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) approved the P2.52 billion Bacolod City General Fund Budget for 2019 earlier this week, Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. said he abstained because the budget proposal was “plagued with unanswered questions” and believes the majority who voted for the measure “dishonored” the rules of the local legislative body.
The city official said he plead for an extension to discussions during the second reading, indicating he was intending to clarify the P500 million budget for the General Services Office, P130 million for professional services, a P50 million donation, P290 million for a sanitary landfill, among other items.
“They never heeded my call,” Gamboa said.
“It is important for us councilors to exercise our parliamentary rights to ask questions and be clarified as this will lead us to the right and wise decision in the approval of the 2019 General Fund Budget,” he explained. “It is incumbent and imperative upon me, as a city councilor, to be careful, prudent, and wise because we are just mere [stewards] of these funds entrusted to us by the people of Bacolod.”
The city councilor also pointed out, the agenda for a prior regular session arrived 30 minutes before it was scheduled to begin, which he said is against the internal rules.
“The majority [of] SP members did not honor the internal rules for as long as it will work in their favor,” he asserted./JSG, WDJ