Budget-stripped congressional district wins 2 awards

LEGAZPI CITY --- The budget-stripped congressional district of opposition stalwart Rep. Edcel Lagman pulled two impressive awards this year as a model district on a national level, and a top rating performance on the regional level.

The top performance rating on a regional level was bestowed by the Management Committee for the Albay 1st District Engineering during the last two consecutive terms ending August with the regional office performance on the regional level, however, placed on the 9th place among the region’s 16 district engineering offices.

On the national level with the 17 regional offices competing, Bicol was placed on the 12th rank in rating, described as 2nd lowest during the last two consecutive ratings, report said.

The top performance rating bestowed for the Albay 1st District Engineering during the last two consecutive ratings ending last August is separate from the model award the Albay 1st congressional district has maintained on a national level for the year 2018, which is being conducted yearly by the Bureau of Maintenance, according to a report.

Assistant regional director Esmeraldo Sarmiento disclosed that the regional office has recovered fast by jumping to the 9th place in performance on the national level, as of September, adding we expect an improved rating for the last quarter.

Sarmiento said that performance rating is purely based on disposal on obligations, disbursement, and physical accomplishment.

Lagman district suffered a big blow last year when the administration stripped Albay 1st district of its more than P2 billion budget under the 2018 General Appropriation Act, which resulted to the total layoff of more than 150 job order and emergency hired workers, beginning the first day of the year.

Despite the consequences of having no budget for the 2018 projects and maintenance operation, however, Lagman district was able to maintain its record as the model district for that year, the report said.

A project of the Bureau of Maintenance, a model district award is a yearly reward accorded to a district engineering found with a zero pothole on its road network, which the Albay 1st congressional district was able to sustain and maintained for more than a decade, that began during the stint of district engineer Manuel Azurin, now retired.

Contacted for comment, district engineer Simon Arias refused to glorify his district accomplishments other than saying it’s all “tsamba” (accidental), in a text message.

Lagman records as a critic of the administration had cost his district the non-release of his 2018 GAA along with other few lawmakers critical of President Duterte.

Arias, however, disclosed that his office is in full blast implementing the P3 billion budget under the 2019 GAA.