2021 Cebu City budget needs to source funds from SRP — Garcia

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 23,2020 - 05:41 PM
This is an aerial shot of the SRP. | CDN Digital file photo

Aerial shot of a part of the 45-hectare lot at the SRP or South Road Properties. CDN Digital drone photo | Raul Constantine Tabanao (file photo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City’s P10.8 proposed 2021 budget may be partly sourced from the proceeds of the sales from the 2015 sale of the lots in the South Road Properties  or the SRP.

Councilor Raymond Garcia, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on budget and finance, said in a press conference on October 23, 2020, that there were three sources of funds, which Mayor Edgardo Labella based the budget on.

Read: Cebu City falls short on collection of taxes

The first is the local source including expected tax collection of the city, which is pegged at P3.6 billion for 2021 with P1 billion from Real Property Taxes, P2 billion from business taxes, and P650 million from other local taxes.

Non-tax revenues should account for P360 million of the fund source including regulatory fees, permits, and license fees. Alongside this, the city expects to collect P760 million for service and user charges.

In total, the city expects P4.9 billion collection from local sources.

Read: Long-drawn-out pandemic a key risk to PH economy

This is already in consideration of the economic recession experienced in the country following the pandemic and the long quarantine.

“We can’t expect to collect as much taxes as before because many establishments have closed down. This is still the impact of the pandemic,” said Garcia.

The city also expects an Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) from the national government of P2.3 billion and a P350 million share from the economic zone, totaling a P2.7 billion funds from external sources.

Based on the local and external sources of funds, the city could only afford P7.6 billion.

Read: Seniors, health get big chunk of Cebu City’s proposed P10.8B 2021 budget

Garcia said this would be where the SRP sales would come in, which was a total of P16 billion upon complete payment in 2019. Labella plans to take P3 billion from the SRP proceeds to top up the budget.

“We are being pessimistic in our budget for next year. Asa man tag itapal? (Where can we get the money for that) If low ang collection (If the collection is low), we have no other choice but to source from the SRP proceeds,” said Garcia.

The councilor said he was expecting the minority floor to oppose the source of funds, but he assured the public that the budget would be passed before the year ends.

Garcia said there would be a need for a bigger budget to allocate enough funds for pandemic and disaster response and the city would use its resources to help the public./dbs

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