No holiday break for Tacloban city councilors

The city council here has decided to give up its holiday break this year to ensure the passage of next year’s budget.

Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin on Tuesday said setting aside the tradition of having a Christmas break, council members agreed to work for the approval of the PHP1.4-billion 2021 budget of the city government.

“We only have three more sessions left for this year. We decided to forgo our break and make sure that the budget will be passed” Yaokasin said.

During their recent session, the city council tackled the more than PHP1.8-billion Annual Investment Program (AIP) of the city for 2021. It is expected that in the remaining sessions, the council will approve the budget.

The AIP is the work and financial plan of the city government for one year, which administers and provides budgetary support.

The budget preparation for 2021 has been delayed due to movement restrictions this year, Yaokasin said.

The city council is expected to tackle the proposed budget during their sessions scheduled on Dec. 16, 23, and 30.

Yaokasin said the city government will also forgo the holding of Christmas parties to adhere to safety protocols of the health department and local executive order.

Meanwhile, the Leyte provincial government also decided not to hold a Christmas party for their employees this year, said Vice Governor Carlo Loreto.

“It is impossible for us to have the party, we can’t even have the session face to face because of the fear that we might bring the virus to our families,” Loreto said in a separate interview.

Although Christmas parties are not restricted, he said everyone should have to follow the provincial social distancing ordinance that was passed last April.


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