City Council inclined to slash P10.5-B proposal-A A +A
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
THE Cebu City Council is inclined to approve only P5.8 billion for next year’s budget, nearly 50 percent short of the P10.5-billion proposal of the executive branch of the City Government.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama could not keep his dismay hidden. “Ipa-usap na nila (They can shove it),” he said.
At the end of its budget hearings, the City Council told departments to prioritize the items in their proposals, instead.
But Rama said the council will have to answer the consequences should another calamity strike Cebu and the City Government cannot respond because of the lack of funds.
City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said the departments will heed the directive of the council.
The council stressed that the executive branch at City Hall failed to back its proposed budget with enough funds.
The executive branch was banking on the sale of the South Road Properties (SRP) expected to be over P5 billion to fund the P10.5 billion budget proposal.
Mayor Rama said approving a much smaller budget is proof that the City Council is “not helping.”
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake claimed the lives of five people at the Pasil Fish Market in Cebu City last Oct. 15 and damaged several buildings, including the Cebu City Medical Center. On Nov. 8, super typhoon Yolanda hit northern Cebu and rendered thousands of families homeless.
Rama said the budget proposal can improve the lives of people in coastal barangays, ensure potable water in all of the City's 80 barangays, would provide a good drainage system and answer the garbage problems of the City.
Rama also reminded the council that the City will be hosting some meetings for the Association of Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015 and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 11, 2013.