Conflicts arise when personal interests collide. This is now front and center at the Laoag City Sangguniang Panlungsod as two warring factions are duking it out for the city government's 2019 annual budget. The budget proposal, submitted October 16, 2018, remains unpassed for months, and was disapproved via vote of 7-5 in a special session on January 3, 2019. Though unlike in the Unites States of America where an unapproved budget results in a shutdown, Philippine laws call for an automatic reenactment of the last approved budget when this happens. But what will happen to a local government operating on a reenacted budget? All operations are hampered: from basic services to employee salaries and city government projects. This is so as the city government is forced to operate using last year's budget. And common sense dictates that past expenditures are usually lower than present expenditures; more so in the face of high inflation rates last year. It
Online edition of The Ilocos Times, a community newspaper based in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.