Dizon to Labella: Set aside partisanship

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | December 09,2020 - 06:22 PM

Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon took to the council his lamentations over the recent statements of Mayor Edgardo Labella branding him as an obstructionist for questioning portions of the proposed P10.8 billion 2021 annual budget.

In a privilege speech, Dizon reminded the mayor that it is part of the primary job of a legislator to ensure that the actions of the executive department are for the best interest of the constituents, that the council members have the obligation to suggest changes in the budget and urge the mayor to prioritize the needs of the public.

“However, may I humbly remind the Mayor that the exercise of parliamentary budget oversight should not be construed as obstructionism since its exercise is embedded in our democracy. As public servants, we need to learn how to listen and accept constructive criticisms. Our people deserve leaders who will listen and work as hard for them as they are for their communities,” said the councilor.

Furthermore, Dizon said that his presence in the budget hearings would naturally allow him to scrutinize the budget on infrastructure, intelligence funds, and travel expenses, which he believes should not be prioritized during the pandemic.

Yet the councilor noted that he has supported various projects of the administration including the construction of socialized housing and the implementation of the education initiatives particularly the radio-based instruction.

“The ongoing budget deliberation is a legislative function. It’s not politicking.  It’s an exercise of promoting fiscal management and transparency. To advance fiscal transparency and public accountability, we should allow oversight and engagement since what is at stake are government revenues–people’s money,” he added.

Dizon also clarified that during the peak of the pandemic, he has helped out through conducting donation drives, facilitating the distribution of aid and personal protective equipment (PPEs).

He clapped back at Labella for failing to handle the COVID-19 situation in the city prompting the national government to intervene.

“Now, Mr Chairman, let me ask the same question to the Mayor: Where were you? What did you do during the pandemic? If you did anything effective, wala unta ta mag ECQ for two months? wala unta ta nahimong epicenter sa COVID sa tibook Pilipinas? If you were fighting hard with this pandemic, wala unta ipadala ni President Duterte sila Sec. Cimatu ug General Feliciano diri sa Cebu because at that time we were losing the battle against the virus ? Nganong dili man ikaw gisaligan ni Sec. Cimatu to handle the city ‘s Covid response?” Dizon added.

Dizon reminded the mayor that the war of the city is against the virus not against political opponents. He urged the chief executive to accept criticisms with grace.

Mayor Labella for his part said the city officials worked hard during the peak of the pandemic and everyone exhausted all their efforts in bringing down the number of cases.

The mayor advised Dizon to stick to the issues when scrutinizing the budget instead of saying words such as “immoral,” which was how the councilor described the proposed P30 million intelligence funds of the mayor.

“He should be more circumspect as a public official,” said Labella. /rcg

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TAGS: budget deliberations, Cebu City, Cebu City Council, Councilor Alvin Dizon, COVID-19, Mayor Edgardo Labella, P10.8 billion 2021 annual budget, pandemic

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