Soaring inflation rate hurting LGUs
THE surge in prices due to high inflation has now affected the delivery of basic services of the different local government units (LGUs) in the province.
The present inflation rate of 6.4 percent is the highest in nine years and is largely attributed to President Duterte’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
The Cebu City Engineering Office for one has decried the rise in the prices of asphalt saying the department has already depleted its funds intended for the purchase of asphalt in June.
Because of this, the City Engineering has requested a supplementary budget of P45 million for the construction and maintenance of asphalt roads during a hearing by the Committee on Finance on Sept. 6.
Of the amount, P40M will be allotted for the construction of asphalt roads while P5M will be appropriated for maintenance works.
According to Assistant City Engineer Nilo Igot, the P60M the department received for 2018 was already used up in June due to the soaring prices of asphalt components like bitumen, an oil based emulsion.
“The price of the bitumen has increased in the past year and the P60M is now too small for the projects,” said Igot at the budget hearing.
Igot said that the P60M that used to cover 10 kilometers of road can now only cover 1.1 kilometers.
As this developed, the Committee on Finance recommended that the City Engineering increase its budget proposal for 2019 to P160M.
“Take into account that the prices are continuously rising especially when TRAIN 2 may be implemented soon,” said
Councilor Margot Osmeña, who heads the committee on finance.
The Capitol too
The Capitol is likewise feeling the pinch of the high inflation rate especially on its purchase of fuel products for government-owned vehicles.
Jone Siegfried Sepe, head of the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO), said they will be asking for a supplemental budget because their P24 million fuel subsidy for 2017 to 2018 may not last until year’s end.
“Ang directly affected jud sa inflation is kining pag procure nato sa petroleum dependent products. Because most of these are imported, affected ta sa dollar
exchange,” Sepe said.
(Directly affected by high inflation is the procurement of petroleum dependent products since these are imported and are affected by the dollar exchange rate)
“Posible magkulang siya. Mangita lang ta og way nga madugangan lang nga ma-fund nato (It is possible that the budget would not be enough. We will have to find ways to look for additional funding)” he added.
Sepe however, still could not determine the amount of supplemental budget that they will be asking from the Office of the Governor.
There are at least 1,500 vehicles owned by the province including heavy equipment trucks and emergency vehicles used by provincial hospitals, that receive fuel subsidy.
Meanwhile, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III urged the economic managers of President Rodrigo Duterte to address the soaring prices of basic commodities which he said has a huge impact on the common consumers.
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