City’s ‘re­al­is­tic’ an­nual bud­get for 2018 stands at P6.2B

Sun.Star Cebu - - TOP STORIES - RAZEL V. CUIZON / Re­porter @razel­cuizon

Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña sub­mit­ted the pro­posed 2018 an­nual bud­get amount­ing to P6.2 bil­lion.

A big chunk will go to al­lo­ca­tions for the City’s fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for se­nior ci­ti­zens, debt ser­vic­ing, in­fra­struc­ture projects and pay­ment for garbage col­lec­tion and dis­posal.

Os­meña, in his mes­sage to the City Coun­cil, said that the pro­posed bud­get is smaller than this year’s ap­proved bud­get of P7.2 bil­lion be­cause it is the amount that the trea­surer’s of­fice deems as a re­al­is­tic es­ti­mate of the City’s pro­jected rev­enues.

Around P2.8 bil­lion is set aside for per­sonal ser­vices and main­te­nance and op­er­at­ing ex­penses for var­i­ous of­fices and de­part­ments.

The ex­ec­u­tive de­part­ment also set aside P605.7 mil­lion for the cash aid to the el­derly, and P506.6 mil­lion for debt pay­ments. Some P362.8 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for the lo­cal de­vel­op­ment fund (LDF), which fi­nances the con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of health cen­ters, gov­ern­ment build­ing, roads, high­ways and bridges, and other in­fra- struc­ture projects.

Aside from LDF, P60 mil­lion is al­lo­cated for the paving and re­tread­ing of var­i­ous streets. The ex­ec­u­tive de­part­ment is also propos­ing P313 mil­lion for garbage col­lec­tion and dis­posal.

Last Tues­day, the Lo­cal Fi­nance Com­mit­tee sub­mit­ted the bud­get pro­posal to the sec­re­tar­iat of the City Coun­cil, which is ex­pected to dis­cuss it on Tues­day.

Os­meña stood pat not to use the P9.8 bil­lion that the City re­ceived as down pay­ment and in­stall­ment for the sale of South Road Prop­er­ties (SRP) lots in 2015.

“Do­ing so, as what the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion did, is il­le­gal. It vi­o­lated many COA (Com­mis­sion on Au­dit) cir­cu­lars. The Deed of In­stall­ment crafted by the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­pressly pro­vided that only upon full pay­ment by the buy­ers the Deed of Ab­so­lute Sale be ex­e­cuted for the pur­pose of trans­fer­ring ti­tle to the buy­ers (Sec­tion 3.4),” por­tion of Os­meña’s let­ter read.

“The buy­ers may also uni­lat­er­ally de­mand a rescis­sion of the con­tract. Our ac­count­ing of­fice has there­fore ap­pro­pri­ately rec­og­nized the pro­ceeds of the sale as ‘Other De­ferred Cred­its’ that can­not be used as a source of funds,” the mayor added.

The ex­ec­u­tive de­part­ment said that its main source of fund­ing will be tax rev­enues.

The City Gov­ern­ment ex­pects to earn around P6.2 bil­lion from in­ter­nal sources, which in­clude tax rev­enues and non-tax rev­enues, and around P2 bil­lion from ex­ter­nal sources, which in­clude the City’s share from the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Al­lot­ment and the eco­zone.

The other items in the 2018 pro­posed an­nual bud­get are P212 mil­lion for the City Hospi­tal­iza­tion As­sis­tance and Medicines Pro­gram and the Long Life Pro­gram, P204 mil­lion for the schol­ar­ship pro­gram and P172.8 mil­lion for aid to the barangays, among oth­ers.

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