Capitol gets P1.2B supplemental budget for COVID response, recovery
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Board has passed a P1.2-billion supplemental budget intended for the Capitol’s response and recovery projects from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the subsequent lockdown that resulted to economic downturns globally in the first half of 2020.
The PB, in its regular online session on Monday, July 6, 2020, passed in first, second, and third readings the province’s Supplemental Budget No. 1 which totals P1,273,775,230. The SB ordinance was certified as urgent by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Sixth District Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, the sponsor of the SB ordinance and chairperson of the Committee on Budget and Appropriations, said the allocation would be needed to get the economy “back on track.”
“We consider it as a response and developmental Supplemental Budget. Not only that we allocated funds for the response to the current pandemic situation, likewise, we allocated amounts for developmental purposes to put us back on track,” Soco told CDN Digital via phone.
Soco said part of the P1.2-billion SB will go to the Office of the Governor’s assistance to local government units (LGUs) and aid to barangays funds.
When the province was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 30 to May 20, 2020, the Capitol has released P373 million worth of cash aid to its 44 towns and seven component cities. The amount was intended for the COVID-19 relief operations.
The province also used some P17 million as capital funds for its bagsakan centers, dubbed as “Tindahan sa Kapitolyo,” which were put-up in the province’s “poorest” towns.
The goods in the bagsakan centers are subsidized by 10 percent, so the Capitol is expecting a deficit of P1.7 million from the program.
Prior to the ECQ, the province also disbursed P25.5 million worth of cash assistance for the 51 LGUs for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and health supplies.
Despite the expenses incurred by the province, Governor Garcia earlier said that no projects that were allocated funding from the province’s P12 billion 2020 budget will be sacrificed.
According to Soco, the funding for SB No. 1 comes from the Capitol’s savings in personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), capital outlay, and the Bayanihan Grant to provinces that amounts to over P159 million.
“We have already finished the first half of this year and we are still going to go through the next half. We feel that it is vital that our SB is attuned for the next six months of the provincial government’s plans and programs,” Soco said./dbs
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