Budget shoots beyond P6B-A A +A
Friday, October 12, 2012
THE proposed 2013 budget could reach P13 billion, which would be the biggest budget proposal in Cebu City.
This was what members of the local finance committee foresaw based on the people’s budget that has already reached P6 billion.
The people’s budget was drafted based on the proposal of a multi-sectoral consultation done last September 11 to 15.
On Thursday, the people’s budget was presented to representatives of the different sectors of Cebu City.
The City Treasurer’s Office, as of Thursday, only committed to P5 billion.
But City Treasurer Emma Villarete said there are other programs to be used as sources of funds for the multi-billion budget, if pursued.
The people’s budget was categorized in four services -- administrative governance services, social services, environment services and economic services.
Of this, P3.399 billion is for environment services.
About 84 percent of those consulted prioritized waste management services in the people’s budget, followed by 70 percent who wanted to focus on flood control and mitigation.
During the September consultation, the people were asked to prioritize projects.
Also included under environment services are sewerage services, reforestation and greening of environment, street cleaning services, sanitary services, air quality and water monitoring services and coastal management.
Social services got the second biggest budget with P1.6 billion.
This includes hospital services, public education, public health, socialized housing, beggars and streetchildren and juvenile welfare, manpower development, child and youth welfare.
Also under social services are sports development, elderly and differently abled welfare services, women’s welfare, day care, communal water, blood donor services, historical and cultural services and cultural projects.
Administrative governance services got a budget of P540.8 million while economic services was allotted P175.3 million.
Disaster preparedness, repair and maintenance of City Government facilities, police, planning and development, streetlighting, fire protection and traffic management are among those under administrative governance.
In the same category are legal services, treasury revenue collection, public market, information technology, civil registry and assessment of real property.
Under economic services are economic enterprises and livelihood development, agricultural services, public utilities operation, tourism, upland development, investment promotions, veterinary, marine and aquatic resources management.
As Cebu City’s needs balloon, secretary to the mayor Belinda Navascues asked stakeholders to help the City raise revenues and one of the strategy is to increase revenue collection.
“The mayor’s (Michael Rama) order is that there should be no tax increase because the people will be burdened. It is better to intensify collection,” said Navascues.
Assistant budget officer Marietta Gumia explained that the P6- billion people’s budget represents the stakeholders’ major projects.
It does not include personnel services, debt servicing and infrastructure projects.
Villarete believes the entire proposal will reach P13 billion if everything will be consolidated.
Members of the local finance committee will have to work double time in order to include the output of the consultation in the proposed budget, which will be submitted on Oct. 13.
When asked if the executive fears another budget slash from the Cebu City Council, Navascues said, “We are not afraid because we are only after transparency, which is why we conducted this consultation.”
Navascues said the executive is only giving the people what they want.
This is why no politician was invited in the consultation to keep it apolitical.
Villarete is confident that they will be able to defend the budget proposal.
Among those represented in consultative assembly are members of urban poor groups, senior citizens, the academe, business sector and others.
Last year, the executive proposed a budget of P11.8 billion later reduced to P10.7 billion. But the Council only approved P5.3 billion.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2012.