Councilor: Cebu City gov’t should be careful in spending amid pandemic
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon has reminded the city government to be prudent in spending its resources on unnecessary expenses while the city is still suffering from the economic consequences of the pandemic.
“Given the uncertainties of the situation and the serious economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it is prudent for the city government to put in place ‘belt-tightening’ measures to ensure that public funds are spent on essential projects,” said Dizon.
In the Supplemental Budget 3 (SB 3) proposed by Mayor Edgardo Labella amounting to a total of P3.5 billion, at least P240 million is allocated for a command center to rise near the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).
Councilor Raymond Garcia, who heads the council’s committee on budget and finance, confirmed the appropriation and said the budget would fund an eight-story building.
The command center was one of the promises of Labella in his 10-point agenda when he sat as the new mayor of the city in 2019.
Garcia said the building would house the central command for traffic, disasters, health, and others.
For Dizon such amount appropriated to a structure that would not be needed by the public would be an inefficient manner of spending the city’s money.
He said the money could be used for immediate needs and long term social projects such as food production, water, health and sanitation, socialized housing, employment generation and alternative livelihood for the people.
The councilor encouraged the city government to reconsider this appropriation and focus on the needs of the people amid the pandemic.
The SB 3 is currently being tackled by the Cebu City Council. The hearing began on Friday, May 22, 2020, but the council members failed to approve the budget.
Another hearing will be conducted on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. /dbs
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