Capitol okays P4.5B for 2018, bulk of budget goes to prov’l health services

By: Morexette B. Erram December 04,2017 - 10:55 PM

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved en masse Capitol’s P4.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2018. PB Member Celestino Martinez III, chairperson of the committee on budget and appropriations, presented the budget ordinance on its third and final reading on Monday.
CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) yesterday approved the P4.5 billion budget of the Cebu provincial government for 2018 on its third and final reading.

“There were no major changes made and no reduction,” said PB member Celestino Martinez III, chairperson of the committee on budget and appropriations.

But Martinez clarified that the approved budget was not enough to cover all requests made by the different departments of the legislative and executive branches of the provincial government.

“As a matter of fact, there are some departments that I felt like they should have been given a little bit more assistance considering the gravity of the programs of they really initiated,” said Martinez.

Martinez cited the case of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), which plans to provide financial assistance to towns and cities under Cebu province. The PPDO was given a budget of P36 million for 2018.

In turn, Martinez said the budget committee of the PB is open to accommodate proposals for Supplementary Budget (SB). Next year’s budget is P900 million more than this year’s budget of P3.6 billion. Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas said the bigger budget is due to the province’s increased revenue. Of the P4.5 billion budget for next year, the biggest chunk or P1.4 billion will go to provincial health programs.

According to Rodas, the bigger budget allocation for the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and province-run hospitals and their corresponding workers and programs is due to a letter request earlier sent by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III to Rodas on the need to improve and expand the province’s health-related services.

Of the health budget, P3.5 million was allocated to fund future training for all health and hospital workers of the Cebu provincial government.

PHO head Dr. Rene Catan, together with Department of Health-7 (DOH-7) regional director Dr. Jaime Bernadas and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) hospital chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino, were expected to attend a meeting with PB members yesterday to shed light on the planned training programs but the health officials requested the meeting’s postponement to next week.

The bulk of the 2018 budget will be sourced from the P3.1-billion Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of the province from the national government.

Other local revenues amounting to P917 million which include income from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) and other provincial properties will also be used to fund next year’s budget.

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TAGS: 2018, budget, Bulk, Capitol, goes, health, okays, P4.5B, prov’l, services

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