Rama wants P50B budget in 2023 to achieve ‘Singapore-like’ dream for Cebu City

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 19,2022 - 02:19 PM
Cebu City hall

The Cebu City Hall. | CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has proposed a P50 billion budget for 2023.

If approved, this is going to be the biggest budget ever passed in the city’s history. The city now operates using an approved budget of almost P9 billion.

“Today, naa man sa atong agenda no nga si Mayor Mike already proposed a P50 billion budget for 2023. Now, wala pa nako nakuha jud dayon ang details. I haven’t even opened (yet) the attachment, but of course, this is in line with his vision to make Cebu City Singapore-like,” Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia told reporters in an interview on Wednesday morning, October 19, 2022.

“When you make Cebu City Singapore-like, kinahanglan jud kag dako nga budget. So, this is one of the reasons ngano,” he added.

The Office of the Mayor transmitted to the City Council the proposed budget for 2023 shortly after it also sent a request for the passage of the third supplemental budget for 2022 amounting to P1.3 billion.

READ: Rama seeks P1.2B supplemental budget for Christmas bonuses, seniors aid among others

2023 Budget

Garcia said the proposed budget for next year is very big or an increase of over 400 percent from this year’s budget because this includes an allocation to fund the construction of medium-rise buildings (MRBs) for the city’s informal settlers.

Rama dreams of building about 200 MRBs to accommodate the informal settlers or those families who occupy privately owned lots.

The 2023 budget proposal was included in the agenda of the Cebu City Council in today’s session, Garcia said.

A summary of the proposed appropriation show that the bulk of the allocation or about 35.73 billion will be spent on capital outlay while 10.32 billion is for maintenance and other operating expenses.  At least P2.19 billion is for personnel services and P1.45 billion will be allocated as subsidy to special accounts.

The bulk of next year’s budget amounting to P44.53 billion will be taken from tax revenues. The other identified sources are national tax allotment – P2.74 billion, non-tax revenues – P2.12 billion and share from economic zones – P300 million.

Budget Process

Garcia said that after the proposed 2023 budget is passed on first reading, this will be referred to the Council’s Committee on Budget and Finance for review and the scheduling of marathon hearings.

During said budget hearings, department heads and other key personnel will be called to appear to defend their budget proposal.

Council members will have to pass a new budget for 2023 before the year ends, otherwise, the city will have to reenact its 2022 budget next year.

During their review, Garcia said, budget committee members can either approve, slash, increase or push for the realignment of some allocations in the draft budget.

Committee members will then present their report and recommendations to the City Council for more deliberations before a 2023 budget is finally approved.

“We will deliberate it. Naa pa man tay entire October, the entire November and dako kaayong possibility nga naa na ni sa mga December nato ma approve considering nga we will, remember, naay budget hearing nga ang tanan mga department heads among tawagon to defend their (proposed) budget,” he said.

“I am very hopeful nga ma approve na by the latest nalang g’yod ang December,” he added.

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/dcb

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TAGS: 2023 annual budget, Cebu City, Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Michael Rama, P50 billion, Raymond Alvin Garcia, Singapore-like
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