No IRA at all for Dinagat Islands, DBM Sec. Abad affirms Dinagat IRA not included in 2011 National Budget

Sec. Florencio Abad
“Better exercise prudence and behave as if no province existed” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad deliberately described the real picture of the withheld Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the Province of Dinagat Islands to somehow end up the noise now rocking the island’s political mainstream.

Following reports that Dinagat IRA was put on hold since January of this year, Abad stressed “The Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the province of Dinagat islands is no longer included in the 2011 National Budget or in the General Appropriation’s Act”. This is in connection with the impending Entry of Judgment issued by the Supreme Court nullifying R.A. 9355 or an Act creating the province of Dinagat issued by the High Tribunal last year.

“There is no such term as withholding of IRA for Dinagat Island Province” Abad said.

“Dinagat Islands Internal Revenue Allotment was really not included in the national budget deliberation because there was an Entry of Judgment issued by the Supreme Court which we believed to have legal grounds”, he further stressed.

Abad who admitted that it’s really a “bone in the neck” on their side and even with the DILG because they cannot issue direct orders while waiting for the Supreme Court’s final deliberation on the last minute pleadings from both the petitioners and the respondent province concerned, He, however, cautioned Dinagat Officials not to make any transactions or sign any checks in the name of the province because it will only create another layer of problem.

Top rated Broadcast Journalist Jun Clerigo, the only local media personality attended the press conference held at the Luciana Inn in Butuan City, said Sec. Abad had opined two possible options to resolve the imminent political handicap now being experienced in the island province particularly the 399 regular employees of the Dinagat Provincial Capitol including the more than one thousand job order employees who are still actively working as of press time.

Pundits cited a bigger and widespread chaos once these Dinagat capitol workers will not be given proper disposition on their employment status.

Considering the present status which Dinagat now being reverted back to its Mother province Surigao del Norte, Sec. Abad suggested that it is really proper to establish an extension office of Surigao provincial government to Dinagat Islands to accommodate those displaced workers and the secondly, SDN provincial government should have to download the P100 million annual allocation intended for Dinagat Island’s 7 municipalities for the fiscal year 2011 being part of the province of Surigao del Norte.

Dinagat Islands budget is deemed included in the annual IRA of Surigao del Norte being part and parcel of its mother province.

Abad advised the Dinagat officials to prepare for a smooth transition to ease up the situation and even suggested that Book of Accounts of Dinagat Islands must be turn-over to Surigao del Norte for proper disposition.

Dinagat Islands Vice Governor Geraldine “Jade” Ecleo is calling on Dinagat residents to pray and ask for the Divine intervention following the political agony now being experienced by the Dinagatnons.

The lady vice governor was reportedly went out in tears after having a short audience with the budget secretary in Butuan upon knowing the real status of their IRA. (Natz Corbeta, Karaga News Central)


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