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With opposition bloc, Quezon Sang. Panlalawigan engaged in showdown

By Gemi Formaran
July 13, 2020

With opposition bloc, Quezon Sang. Panlalawigan engaged in showdown

LUCENA CITY - Quezon provincial legislative board on Friday elected during its new majority and minority floor leaders following the resignation of two board members who earlier gave up their committee chairmanships.

Quezon 4th district Board Member Sonny Ubana, the previous majority floor leader became the minority leader with Board Member Derick Magbuhos as his lone member.

Ubana was replaced as majority floor leader by 3rd district Board Member Jet Suarez, son of Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez and Rep. Aleta Suarez.

After the election, Ubana and Magbuhos immediately questioned the validity of the hearing of the council's committee on health last Tuesday on the "Expanded Lingap Kalusugan Para sa Barangay Health Coupon Program" with the proposed inclusion of the private hospitals in its scope.

Ubana stressed "the alleged lack of quorum" of the supposed committee En Banc hearing saying there should be eight members present in the committee hearing to make it valid.

“We all know that there should be 8 board members present in the supposed en banc committee hearing to constitute a quorum before they tackle the province’ expanded provincial health program. But there were only 7 present, said the visibly irked Ubana while pointing his fingers to 2nd district Board Member Yna Liwanag- Asistio who chairs the board's committee on health.

He also questioned whether the expanded proposal is an amendment or a new measure as the latter includes 7 pages of implementing guidelines.

The health committee, chaired by Liwanag-Asistio has conducted a hearing presided by Suarez which was attended by fellow board members Alona Obispo, Beth Sio, Romano Franco Talaga, and Reynan Arrogancia.

It was not clear why it was Suarez who presided despite Liwanag- Asistio's presence during the hearing.

The Lingap Kalusugan Para sa Barangay Program which provides individuals in need of medical assistance with health coupons has been one of the provincial government's key strategies in addressing its desire of having a healthier, more productive population.

Its implementing guidelines stated that "Only the Provincial Governor, the Vice- Governor and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan may issue health coupons to anyone who is qualified regardless of their place of residence in the province.

After receiving a copy of the guidelines, Philippine Councilors League (PCL)-Quezon president Angelo Eduarte asked why he never had a chance to have even a single health coupon since his assumption as ex- officio Board member. "Ni minsan po, umpisa pa sa unang araw ng aking pag- upo, hindi man lang ako nagkaroon kahit isang piraso ng health coupon na 'yan. Sana naman po ay maitama ang kamaliang ito. Sana all", Eduarte lamented.

Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) -Quezon president Ireneo Boongaling said only those barangay captains allied to the powers-that-be in the provincial governments were given health coupons for their constituents.

But despite the lengthy exchange of views, the proposed expanded health coupon was eventually approved by the Board.


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