Proposed supplemental budget of Cebu City reaches P4.4 B
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City local finance committee is proposing a P4.4 billion supplemental budget (SB) for 2021 to fund additional expenses for the vaccines, the vaccination sites, and pandemic response.
The City Council’s committee on budget and finance is on its second day of hearings for the proposed SB from the concerned departments prior to their presenting to the rest of the council.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the committee chairperson for budget and finance as well as the majority floor leader, said that the total proposed budget has reached P4,404,475,867.89 covering various expenses such as the payment of the South Road Properties (SRP) loan, pandemic expenses, and vaccination program expenses.
The source of funds for the proposed supplemental budgetat includes a portion of the 2015 sale of SRP lots and savings from unused funds that have been returned to the general funds.
The largest appropriation is the payment of the SRP loan at P1.2 billion, followed by an allocation of P1 billion for the completion of the Cebu City Medical Center, then P100 million for additional coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, and P302 million for senior citizen financial assistance.
“Ang sa seniors nga budget, naay allocation sa Annual Budget but the budget was good for eight months only. So naay four months nga kuwang,” said Garcia in a phone conference.
(The budget for the seniors, it has an allocation in the annual budget, but the budget was good for eight months only. So we still need a budget for the four months that was left.)
P300 million is also appropriated for the vaccination program under the disaster funds including manpower, refrigerators, medical supplies, repair and maintenance of isolation centers, and transportation rental.
At least P268 million is also allocated for aid to the barangays.
The Cebu City Health Department is also asking for P206 million budget, which includes the hiring of additional medical personnel to man the vaccination sites.
Garcia said that so far, the budget hearing had been smooth and the local finance committee would be incorporating changes and requests of the City Council members before the primary presentation to the City Council on June 9, 2021.
He noted that the P4.404 billion could not be increased, but could still be reduced.
Many departments have been asked to slash more budget on unnecessary appropriations as the City Council will want the budget to be focused on pandemic response and vaccine roll-outs.
“By next Wednesday, we would submit already the committee report. Maybe I will call another clarificatory meeting or hearing sa budget kay tungod naay uban councilors nga wa gyod motunga ug wa gyud maka-ask sa ilang questions so maybe one last clarificatory meeting or budget hearing then after that we will submit for final deliberation,” said Garcia.
(By next Wednesday, we would submit already the committee report. Maybe, I will call another clarificatory meeting or hearing of the budget because there are some councilors, who were not present and were not able to ask their questions on the proposed budget so maybe one last clarificatory or budget hearing then after that we will submit for final deliberation.)
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