TACLOBAN CITY- Samar Vice Governor Stephen James Tan expressed his confidence that this year’s budget of the province will be approved without much hitches. Tan, who acts as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, said the proposed P1.18 billion budget for 2015 will be deliberated by them during their regular session next month. The proposed P1, 185,396,978 budget for the province for next year is relatively higher compare to the current budget of P1.042 billion. It was learned that under the 2015 budget, bigger allocations were given in the sectors of agriculture, infrastructures and health, underlying the thrust of Governor Sharee Ann Tan to improve Samar’s economic standing.

Basic social services were also given a priority under the IRA (internal revenue allotment)-driven proposed 2015 provincial budget. “So far, I don’t see any problems that will deter the approval of our proposed budget for 2015.All the contents of the proposed budget are presented to the members of the board for them to see and scrutinize,” Vice Gov. Tan said.

In several instances, the passage of provincial budget of Samar has become a contentious issue among provincial board members which resulted for the reenactment of budget to the detriment of the people. Meantime, Vice Gov. Tan said that they will also make sure that the rehabilitation of the province, especially those areas that suffered the brunt of supertyphoon Yolanda, will be faster. According to him, rehabilitation work will immediately commence once the funds are downloaded by the national government. The towns of Basey and Marabut are considered to be the hardest-hit areas in the province due to the onslaught of Yolanda. (JOEY A. GABIETA)