On September 16-19, 2010, Officials and Department Heads of Laoag City, led by Mayor Michael V. Fariñas, held meticulous and lengthy deliberations in setting the City’s 2011 budget.
The delegates were checked in at the pristine, Indonesian inspired, Playa Tropical Resort in Currimao, Ilocos Norte. There, each Department Head defended and explained his proposed budget for the coming year.
The upgraded Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) was given the most attention during the three and a half day deliberations. Dr. Francis “Dax” Dacuycuy, Chairman of the Committee on Health of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, painstakingly presented every detail of equipment, supply and service that the LCGH will need and provide once the economic enterprise starts operations in January 2011.
LCGH Chief Dr. Eliezer Asuncion provided other information and data that were needed for the approval of the body and eventually the Mayor.
The approved 2011 Budget of Laoag City is a little more than 600 million pesos from the 408 million 2010 budget, an increase of 192 million pesos or 47%. Obviously, bulk of the increase was for the LCGH which has a budget of 207 million pesos for 2011. And after hearing all the arguments, everyone shares the optimism of Mayor Fariñas that the new LCGH will be a stunning success.
In the evenings, socialization (bonding) and team-building sessions were held. A singing and dancing contest dubbed “Department Heads Got Talent,” brought out the best in the participants. No less than the City Administrator, the Executive Secretary to the Mayor, and SP Secretary served as “celebrity” judges in the competition. Up to this writing though, the Grand Champion has not been declared.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, members of the media, particularly the Laoag City Press Corps, were invited to witness and participate in the activities.