BAGUIO CITY — Cagayan province’s budget has been suspended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), declaring it inoperative.

As a result, programs and projects of the Cagayan Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) are also left hanging after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) cut a large chunk prompting the DBM to rule it could not become operational.

Cagayan Provincial Board Member Rodrigo C. de Asis claimed the DBM also saw that the SP committed violations in slashing Cagayan’s budget with P21 million from the 20% development fund of Cagayan, which accordingly, He is in contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Code (LGC).

Mr. De Asis said that even the programs of the PLGU as part of its “No barangay/town left behind” which he claimed the SP has no jurisdiction, was slashed.

The provincial legislator stressed that the social protection program “No barangay/town left behind” initiative is under the executive branch of yhe provincial government.

Thus prompting Cagayan governor Manuel N. Mamba to blame “too much politicking,” he claimed, “were the handiwork of (Vice Governor Melvin K. Vargas, Jr.) and majority of the Sangunniang Panlalawigan of Cagayan.”

“They should explain that (budget problem) to the Cagayanos after delaying the passage of the annual budget deliberately for 6 consecutive years. What a waste!” Gov. Mamba blurted out.

The “No Barangay Left Behind” (NBLB), a flagship program of the Cagayan provincial government, has been recognized as one of the top 5 performing institutionalized programs in the country. It provides financial capability to all Cagayan villages and seeks to capacitate the grassroots level by providing them the means in the barangay level development.

According to Gov. Mamba, 820 villages have benefiting from the program since 2016 that emphasizes collaborative leadership and community empowerment at the village level.   

Each village in Cagayan has formed an institutionalized Agkaykaysa, “to unite” in Ilokano, which resulted in 5,720 self-reliant organizations.

“It invests on people-decided village-level infrastructure, it invests in education to address poverty, and it funds the development of leadership among the Cagayan youth,” Mr. Mamba had cited.

Vice Governor Vargas Jr. could not be reached for comment. — Artemio A. Dumlao