Bacolod’s proposed P2.52-B 2019 appropriation hurdles first reading
THE Bacolod City Council approved on first reading the P2.52 billion proposed annual budget for 2019.
The proposed budget, which was submitted by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, was approved during the regular session yesterday.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairperson of the City Council committee on appropriations and finance, said the proposed budget is 12 percent higher, or P270 million, than the budget this year.
As to the source of funds, 50 percent of the budget will come from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) amounting to P1.26 billion and the local sources which is P 1.258 billion.
He added the bulk of the budget, or P 1.33 billion, will
be allocated to the maintenance and other operating expenses; and P660 million to personnel services; P252 million to the development fund; P81.7 million to equipment expenses; P7.9 million for financial expenses; and P184 million for other purposes.
Distrito said the budget includes the provision for the salary standardization of city government employees.
“It prioritizes health services, the solid waste management, social welfare services, public order and safety, anti-drug campaign as in line with the national thrust, improvement of traffic management, economic and infrastructure development, tourism and importantly, for education,” he said.
He added he will conduct public hearings on the proposed budget with various department heads as well as other government agencies which were part on the proposed budget.
For his part, Leonardia said the City is currently benefiting from a steady rise in the collection of its local taxes and that real property and business taxes have recorded significant increases in its collection for the past two consecutive years, owing mainly to the confidence of the valued taxpayers.
He said that boosting tourism is another aspect that was given consideration in this budget and that a significant portion of the budget is dedicated for infrastructure development.
“The City is now at the turning point of its fiscal management history considering that it is slightly dependent on the IRA and hope that by next year, the City will finally break the long-time dominance of the IRA over the local sources,” he added./ MAP