Cagayan loses P328M for road projects due to delayed budget
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – Cagayan province lost more than P328 million worth of road projects in 2017 due to the delayed passage of the 2017 annual and supplemental budget.
In a message to Jonathan Paul Leusen Jr, regional director of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cagayan Valley, DILG assistant director for Project Development Services Rosalinda Ilaya confirmed their P328 million for roads projects had been forfeited due to compliance issues.
The amount covered the national counterpart for 28.9 kilometers worth of road projects in 12 towns.
Ilaya said DILG had asked the provincial government of Cagayan to fully comply with the requirements of Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CMGP), one of which is the approval of the provincial government of counterpart funding.
The CMGP is a government program aimed to repair, rehabilitate and improve provincial roads.
With the June 2017 first deadline unmet, Vice Governor and provincial board presiding officer Melvin Vargas asked the DILG to extend the deadline.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and DILG Acting Secretary Catalino Cuy later jointly approved the petition of Vargas and gave the provincial board until September 15 to pass the budget.
Diokno and Cuy said the request was granted based on the justifications provided.
The new deadline, however, was not met again.
Ilaya said the funding was then revoked as it was stated on the letter to Vargas that "no further extension will granted after September 15, 2017."
The provincial board of Cagayan only passed the 2017 annual budget last December 1, and the supplemental budget before the yearend, after months of political bickering.
The delayed passage of the budget prompted a word war between Governor Manuel Mamba and lawmaking body, with Mamba accusing the provincial board of "politicking." The provincial board replied saying the governor was responsible for submitting the PDIP, the Annual Investment Plans, and the budget 4 months late.
Mamba also filed, and later won, a petition for mandamus before the Regional Trial Court in Tuguegarao asking the provincial board not to include any matter in their agenda except for the budget. – Rappler.com