Council beats deadline for city budget-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, January 4, 2013
COMPARED to one to three months delay in previous years, the Baguio City Council approved the city’s P1,286,143,000 budget on a special session last December 28.
On the last working day for 2012, the council conducted the special session to approve the city’s annual appropriations dispelling fears of a reenacted budget that would delay priority projects and place departmental spending at a standstill.
The 2013 budget for Baguio is higher by P118 million to 2012’s allocation of P1,168,242,000.
Among the first portions of the budget to be approved by the City Council include the income and revenue generation portion while less controversial departmental budget appropriations were also approved by the city.
However, the council continued to question appropriations for the city’s solid waste management division and the Annual Investment Plan where the city’s 20 percent development fund will be concentrated but this later on were approved by the council.
Executive and legislative discussions were also undertaken amongst city officials. Each councilor was also assigned a specific department to pore over this year’s budget which according to Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas led to the swift approval of the budget.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan appreciated local legislator’s smooth approval of the budget prepared by the executive department claiming local aldermen conducted the special session after two scheduled sessions coincided with national holidays.
The income portion of the 2013 budget were broken down as: projected tax revenues(P329,150,000); non-tax revenue (P230,460,000); external sources (P564,533,000) and starting with a beginning balance of P162,000,000.
The City Budget Office has projected expenses of P505,612,000 for personal services; P588,017,000 for maintenance and other operating expenses; P38,300,000 for capital outlay; P55,907,000 for Disaster Risk Reduction Management and P90,307,000 for the city’s development fund.
The city’s development fund will be focused moistly in parks development, traffic and transportation development and development of drainage and sewerage systems.
In his last weekly presser before the New year, the mayor stressed he has his eyes focused in improving what he calls as sleeping city properties such as the Athletic Bowl, Asin mini-hydroelectric plants and leasing out of the streetlights and its conversion into energy saving Light Emitting Diode technology.
The mayor stressed the city needs to forge good private-public partnerships with interested private firms to develop these properties and make them income generating for the city to finance its various expenses and deliver better services to residents.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 05, 2013.