Mayor asks for increase for lots, plans vs squatting-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A BIG chunk of the P6.7-billion proposed budget for Cebu City in 2013 is for special projects and programs under the Office of the Mayor.
The appropriation for the special programs and projects was P1.034 billion, more than double the amount of this year’s appropriation of P406 million.
Under this program is the P3.5-million anti-squatting and demolition program of the City Government.
One of Mayor Michael Rama’s priorities is the restoration of the three-meter easement along rivers and waterways.
This advocacy garnered Rama an anti-graft complaint after the City cleared Mahiga Creek of informal settlers, allegedly without providing relocation sites.
Part of Rama’s proposal under the 2013 annual budget is the P50-million lump sum appropriation for site development and another P50 million to acquire lots for socialized housing and other projects.
Under the 2012 budget, there were no appropriations for both items.
The proposal also increased the appropriation for lot acquisition of Province-owned lots under Provincial Ordinance 93-1, from P50 million this year to P100 million next year.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has promised to solve the 93-1 problem before her term ends at the end of June 2013.
Rama sent a few of his department heads to start talks with Garcia’s representatives a few times on the 93-1 issue. Both Rama and Garcia have also attended talks initiated by Vice President Jejomar Binay on the same issue.
Since 2013 is an election year, the Election Reserve Fund was given an appropriation of P10 million.
Maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) take the most of the proposed budget for 2013 with P4.5 billion, compared to just P907 million in capital outlay and P983 million in personal services.
Personal services pertain to salaries, overtime pay, government contributions, allowances and others.
Capital outlay is for infrastructure projects, while MOOE refers to the items needed for the daily grind of City Hall like electricity, gasoline, water expenses and many others.
Electricity expenses were increased to P188 million in the proposed 2013 budget, from the P100-million budget this year.
Allowances for city prosecutors more than doubled in the budget proposal with P6.3 million, compared to P2.9 million this year.
Incentives for police personnel also increased to P26 million from P14 million. This represents allowances for police personnel, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Maritime Police operatives serving in the city.
Aid to city barangays increased four times in the proposed 2013 budget, from P175.7 million this year to a proposal of P800 million next year.
There are also 36 barangays that will receive mini-dumptrucks worth P2.2 million each, if the proposed budget is approved as is.
The mayor’s discretionary fund was increased to P6 million in the proposed budget.
Last year, the council only approved P500,000 from the budget proposal of P25 million.
Maintenance of the drainage and flood control program was also allocated P6 million in the budget proposal.
Close to half a billion pesos was appropriated for debt servicing or the City Government’s payment for the South Road Properties (SRP) loan through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
There is also P153 million appropriated for a possible gain or loss in foreign exchange for debt servicing.
The senior citizens’ program budget was also doubled from P300 million budget this year to an appropriation of P600 million in the proposed 2013 budget.
Expenses for the closure of the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill are expected to decrease this year, with the local finance committee appropriating P500,000, down from the P1.2-billion budget this year.
But the tipping fee for the Consolacion dumping site was appropriated P100 million. The budget this year is only P31 million.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 23, 2012.