Rama seeks return of P50B budget proposal to Office of the Mayor
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will be asking for the return of his draft 2023 budget of P50 billion to the Office of the Mayor.
Rama said he wanted to have another look at the budget proposal and for him to also “rationalize’ his budget request for 2023.
However, Rama said, a plan to revise the city’s tax rates will be pursued.
The mayor said that both the executive and legislative departments are in agreement of the need to already revise the city’s tax rates in compliance with existing laws.
“Nagpasalamat ko nga nag-meeting ang bicameral: executive led by me and legislative led by the vice mayor. We are unanimous. We will revise the Real Property Tax (RPT). Revision okay na. Assessment, maximum. Amo pang gi-estoryahan ang fair market value,” he said.
Rama said the city’s current tax rates have not been touched in the last 16 years. The last time that the city government revised its tax rates was in 2006 yet.
READ: Tax revisions pushed to fund Cebu City’s P50B budget in 2023
Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairperson of the City Council’s budget committee, said the increase in RPT will depend on the outcome of the ongoing revision of the city’s Revenue Code.
Rama said the city has the potential to raise P50 billion next year if all of the taxpayers are able to settle their tax dues.
“The City of Cebu, kung mamayad lang ang mga tawo, we are actually worth more than [the] P50 billion [proposed] budget. If we will have the budget that much, kinsa may mabulahan?” the mayor said.
READ: Rama wants P50B budget in 2023 to achieve ‘Singapore-like’ dream for Cebu City
In a short program that was held after the flag raising ceremony at Plaza Sugbo on Monday morning, Dec. 12, Rama mentioned of his request to have the 2023 draft budget returned to his office.
“I will have a meeting. I will be asking (for) the return of our budget to the Office of the Mayor…we will rationalize the budget,” he said in his message.
Rama submitted to the City Council his budget request in October.
Council members started on December 6 the conduct of marathon hearings on the mayor’s budget proposal.
Rama said he had a meeting with the legislative department led by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia during the weekend to sort out concerns on the 2023 budget proposal.
During their discussion, they agreed that there were some aspects in the budget proposal that needs to be reviewed. This include the proposed hiring of Job Order (JO) personnel to perform functions that are currently assigned to regular employees.
“We think about rationalizing [the budget proposal]. Ang pangutana dayon, simple. Pila man gyoy gikinahanglang empleyado sa City Hall by next year?” he said.
During the early stages of the budget review, some of the Councilors raised a concern on the need to come up with a “realistic” budget for 2023, something that is commensurate to the city’s capacity to earn.
Of the P50-billion budget proposal, around P40 billion will be sourced from the RPT.
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