TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Gov. Manuel Mamba has filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here to compel the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) to pass the proposed 2017 annual budget.
Mamba said delay in passing the more than P2.2-billion annual budget has affected the provincial government’s operations and delivery of basic services to the people of Cagayan.
The province is operating on the 2016 reenacted budget amounting to P1.9 billion.
Mamba said under Section 323 of the Local Government Code, the provincial board should hold a plenary session daily and exclusively on the annual appropriations for 2017.
“The provincial board has neglected to perform [its]duties and should have held continuous sessions until the 2017 budget would have been approved,” he pointed out.
Mamba explained that he has no other recourse but to ask the court to ensure that the welfare of all Cagayanos be served by obliging the provincial board to work on the passage of the proposed budget the soonest possible time.
A special civil action for mandamus was filed before Judge Marivic Cacatian-Beltran of RTC Branch 3 against Vice Governor Melvin Vargas Jr. and 12 members of the provincial board who are tasked to enact the annual budget.
Vargas denied that the provincial board had intentionally delayed the approval of the budget over political differences with Mamba.
He said the delay was caused by their “comprehensive scrutiny of the executive budget.”
The board members said they were confident they could pass the 2017 budget within 90 days but they need to conduct a more careful study of the proposal.