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Council to approve CH budget today

Council to approve CH budget today

Alicia Chua (The Freeman) – December 18, 2019 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council is set to pass today on third and final reading the P10.4 billion annual budget of the city government, including the P35-million allocation for the Sinulog festival next year.

Councilor Raymond Garcia is confident that the budget ordinance will be passed after having ironed out some issues with the other members of the council.

“Tomorrow (December 18) we will already be approving our annual budget ordinance, of course i-deliberate pa na, I think we have already talked to everybody concerned and then uyon man sila, so hopefully tomorrow ma approve na,” said Garcia, who is the chairman of the committee on budget and appropriations.

Included in the proposed 2020 annual budget is the P35-million request from the SFI for the Sinulog activities. The members of the SFI executive committee, headed by Jojo Labella, are invited in today’s final budget deliberations.

The City Council earlier deferred the deliberations of the Sinulog budget after several questions were raised by Vice Mayor Michael Rama. The vice mayor wants to be clarified of the organizational structure of the SFI.

Garcia said that the concerns were already addressed and questions had been answered.

“Last meeting nakig-storya si Vice, kami, and the SFI because Vice had some concerns, which I hope by tomorrow ma iron out na ni sa Sinulog Foundation,” said Garcia.

Should the City Council failed to approve the annual budget today, Garcia said they will be calling for a special session to pass it before the year ends. Mayor Edgardo Labella is pushing for P10.4 billion budget next year.

Among the funding sources the mayor identified was the P1.5 billion proceeds from the sale of the South Road Properties (SRP) lots.

Garcia said there is no more legal impediment to use the money because the court has already dismissed the civil case against its utilization.

“No legal impediment, all cases had been dismissed, the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was not issued,” said Garcia.

Aside from the proceeds of the SRP lots sale, the 2020 annual budget will be funded out of the city’s revenues and Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). Bulk of the P10,461,820,000 proposed budget next year or P4.8 billion was earmarked for general public services.

At least P2.9 billion was allocated for social services, including the financial aid for the senior citizens. The executive department also earmarked P700 million for debt servicing, mostly payment for the loan for the SRP.

Economic services get P508 million while P500 million was allocated as local development fund and P492 million will be spent as aid to the barangays.

Disaster fund is P435 million while another P20 million was earmarked for miscellaneous expenses. (FREEMAN)


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