Cebu City Council passes P1.6B supplemental budget
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council managed to pass the P1.6 billion Supplemental Budget No.1 on a divided house.
The council passed on Wednesday evening, March 2, 2022, the SB 1 that contains appropriations for the full repayment of the South Road Properties (SRP) loan, the additional financial assistance to typhoon victims, and Charter Day incentives for City Hall employees.
Councilor Raymond Garcia, the chairperson for the committee on budget and finance, said they managed to approve the budget 10-2-2 with 10 votes in favor, two votes against it, and two votes abstaining from the budget.
Garcia said that minority floor leader, Councilor Nestor Archival wanted to deffer the supplemental budget because they wanted time to peruse the budget since they were not present during the budget hearing on Monday, February 28, 2022.
“Well, some minority councilors man gud, they needed more time because they had more questions to ask the department heads. Ako silang giingnan nga we already gave the councilors to ask the department heads sa budget hearing. But they were not present, they were absent,” said Garcia.
In fact, administration Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera explained to the opposition councilors that all council members are asked to join the budget hearing and none are barred from attending the particular session.
Archival argued that they should be given time to ask the question as there is no need to hurry the approval.
However, the majority floor put their foot down, saying that the additional P400 million aid to typhoon simply victims cannot wait.
With this, SB1 was passed, allowing the use of the P1.6 billion funds for the specified allocations.
This would also mean that Cebu City is one step closer to being debt free as P800 million was appropriated for the payment of the remaining balance of the 1995 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“We are given until August based on the computation on interest rates. We are kind of confident nga before August mabayran na gyod na,” said Garcia.
The additional P400 million aid to the typhoon victims will be distributed to the families who did not receive the P5,000 aid allotted for structure owners for damaged homes during the typhoon.
Mayor Michael Rama said he wants the more families to get the aid because whether they were structure owners or not, they were badly affected by the typhoon.
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