cdn mobile

No veto override

January 20,2015 - 01:11 PM

Cebu City budget
Whether they were just being conciliatory or not, the Cebu City Council’s not-so- surprising decision not to override Mayor Michael Rama’s veto of the P13.4 billion budget comes six months to election season.

Since the budget they trimmed is still considered the biggest in the city’s history, the council, dominated by  the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) didn’t see it crucial to challenge the veto for now and left things as they are.

They gave Mayor Rama the benefit of the doubt that he could  raise P18.5 billion for his administration’s programs and projects this year.

Setting a P13.4 billion  target is already high  based on the mayor’s weak  record of raising revenues which Rama vowed to rectify through an intensified tax collection effort that would surely be felt by Cebu City-based businesses for this fiscal year.

The veto stemmed from the council’s insistence that   revenue sources for capital outlay be tied directly to the sale of the South Road Property (SRP) lots.

That’s a reasonable condition, given the ambitious budget which relies on still-to-be-collected SRP lots’ proceeds.

But  Rama didn’t like having his hands  cuffed by the council so the council’s decision not to challenge the veto with a two-thirds vote was very welcome news to him.

So aside from intensifying tax collection plans, how would Rama hope to meet his ambitious P18 billion budget without breaking the bank, or in this case, the city’s coffers?

We  hope the Rama administration won’t resort to a bargain basement sale  of the SRP lots.

Already the council has appropriated a portion of the  reclamation project for plans for  a sports hub, which deviates from the original vision of the SRP as  an economic zone.

With big-time investors already plunking down billions of pesos to develop world-class subdivisions, malls and other commercial developments, Rama has so far introduced only one promising venture, a  Japanese retirement facility. What happened to this?

The challenge to achieve Cebu City’s  budget target doesn’t solely rest on   Rama’s capacity to raise revenues. The greater challenge lies in raising the revenues and spending them wisely through intensified services and infrastructure projects and programs for city residents.

Would the bigger budget result, in say, better roads, more garbage trucks  for collection and recycling facilities? Would it result in more parks where people can enjoy and relax, more efficient communication facilities that would wire the Internet-savvy Cebu City populace to the rest of the world?  Would it address traffic congestion and urban planning needs? Would it result in what Rama promised is a sustainable, livable Cebu City?

That’s something Rama and the City Council will have to answer in the months to come.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: budget, Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, infrastructure, peace and order

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.