Cebu City’s P10.4 B budget for 2020 sources funds from SRP sales
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has passed the P10.4 billion budget for the city for 2020 in a regular session on December 18, 2019, through a division of the house.
Nine Barug-PDP Laban approved the budget including the Councilors Raymond Alvin Garcia, Renato Osmeña, Jr., Joel Garganera, Antonio Cuenco, Jerry Guardo, Donaldo Hontiveros, Eduardo Rama, Jr., Prisca Niña Mabatid, Philip Zafra, and David Tumulak.
Seven opposition councilors from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) manifested their objection including Councilors Nestor Archival, Joy Augusts Young, Raul Alcoseba, Jessica Resch, Leah Japson. Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., and Alvin Dizon.
Only BO-PK member, ex officio Councilor Franklyn Ong, who is also the president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) abstained from voting but did not reveal the reason for doing so.
The opposition councilors manifested their objection on the source of funds for the budget as at least P1.5 billion of the budget would be taken from the proceeds of the controversial 2015 sale of a 45-hectare property at the South Road Properties (SRP) to the SM-Ayala consortium.
“I agree on the budget, Mr. Chairman, but I object to the source of funds because there is a pending declaratory relief case on the SRP sales, and we may face consequences if we use the funds,” said Archival, who is also the minority floor leader.
The budget was passed with nine approving votes to seven objections and one abstention.
As proposed, the biggest bulk of the budget goes to the general public service, which included allocations for the city’s departments and services, amounting to P4.8 billion. It is then followed by social services, which is allotted P2.9 billion.
Aside from these allocations, at least P508 million is allotted to economic services, P135 million for local disaster funds, P500 million for the local development funds, P700 million for debt servicing, P20 million for miscellaneous, and P492 million for the aid to barangays.
The debt servicing of P700 million will go to the amortization of the loan for the South Road Properties (SRP), a reclamation project that was funded through a loan obtained from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
The P10.4 billion 2020 budget is at least P2 billion higher than the 2019 budget, which was only P8.1 billion. /dbs
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