Labella told: ‘Readjust’ P4.4B SB 1
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Approval of the P4.4 billion supplemental budget request by Mayor Edgardo Labella may take a little longer than expected.
This after members of the Cebu City Council decided to return Supplemental Budget No. 1 (SB1) to the executive department for some “readjustments.”
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, chairperson of the council’s finance committee, said there are new and more pressing items that will have to be included in SB 1.
In order to insert these items without having to increase the overall total, there is also a need to slash the allocation for some of the items that were already included in the mayor’s budget proposal.
Mayor Labella presented his SB1 to the City Council in June. His budget request already underwent scrutiny during a budget hearing called by the Council’s finance committee two weeks ago.
But before the conduct of the budget hearing, some adjustment were already introduced to Labella’s SB 1 based on recommendations made by the Local Finance Committee.
After the budget hearing was concluded, the City Council’s finance committee made a recommendation for the “readjustment” of the mayor’s SB1.
The biggest chunk of allocation amounting to P1.2 billion will be used to pay the balance of the city’s loan for the implementation of the South Reclamation Project (SRP) now known as the South Road Properties (SRP).
Part of the allocation is for the completion of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) construction project and the implementation of the city’s vaccine rollout.
But during their budget hearing, Garcia said, they learned that other important programs of the city were not yet funded, thus the need to include these in SB1.
“Naa nay mga certain expenses nga na approved na sa CDC (City Development Council) nga kailangan ma-allocate-an. Apil na sad niini ang additional budget kay mag-open man tag 20 ka vaccine sites,” said Garcia in a phone interview.
(There are certain expenses that were already approved by the CDC and that are in need of funding. This includes the plan to open 20 new vaccination sites.)
Garcia said that the city is also scheduled to release at least P230 million to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to avail of the agency’s tax amnesty program for local government units (LGUs) with tax delinquencies from the implementation of revenue-generating programs.
To make sure that funds will be made available for the city’s other priorities, Garcia said, budget slash may be introduced on certain allocations like the funding for job-order employees and other less important expenses that can still be included in the next SBs or in the 2022 budget. / dcb
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