Ba­colod’s pro­posed P2.52-B 2019 ap­pro­pri­a­tion hur­dles first read­ing

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

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

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