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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Quorum lack stalls funds

The regular session of the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan did not push through yesterday, for lack of quorum.

In the agenda that was expected to be deliberated on by the SP, was the endorsement of the SP Committee on Finance for the passage of an ordinance authorizing Gov. Alfredo Marañon to negotiate with the Land Bank of the Philippines to sign for and in behalf of the provincial government all loan documents related to the construction of Negros Occidental High School annex building for P10,160,454, the realignment of 20 percent Provincial Development Fund and Gender and Development Fund balances of P3.8 million to various priority projects and programs of the provincial government, as endorsed by the Provincial Development Council executive committee, among others.

Marañon yesterday reiterated his appeal to the conscience of some board members to refrain from delaying the approval, not only of the 2013 budget, but also of the budget for the construction of the second phase of Negros First Cyber Center and Negros Occidental High School classrooms.

Of the 15 board members, only eight were present yesterday: Mae Javellana, Manuel Frederick Ko, Miller Serondo, Nehemias de la Cruz, Salvador Escalante, Jose Benito Alonzo, Melvin Ibañez and Raul Rivera.

Vice-Governor Genaro Alvarez is on sick leave, while Board Members Patrick Lacson, Emilio Yulo III, Renato Gustilo and Helen Zafra were on official business, SP records show, Board Members George Gitano and Thea Mae Dino were marked absent.

The presence of nine board members is needed to establish a quorum.

Javellana presided over the regular session, but members present moved for its adjournment due to lack of quorum.

Board Member Salvador Escalante, chairperson of the SP committee on Finance and Appropriations, yesterday said his committee is expected to finish deliberations on the proposed P2.2 billion budget for 2013, by the end of November.

Marañon said the construction of the first phase of cyber center will not be completed, without the funds for its second phase, as they are inter-connected, citing the installations of electrical requirements.

Since the first phase of the construction of the cyber center is to be completed in October next year, Alvarez had earlier said there is no need for the release of funds for the second phase yet.

Marañon said that if some board members continue to delay the budget approval it will be at the expense Capitol employees who are waiting for the last tranche of their salary increases, and of 6,000 future workers of the cyber center.

The P170 million budget for the construction of the second phase of the Negros First cyber center and P10 million for additional six NOHS classrooms, have so far, not been acted on by the SP.*GPB

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