CENTRAL Visayas is asking for P108.86 billion in projects, including roads, in the national budget for 2016 but the amount is expected to rise.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 approved a total of P108.86 billion in proposed programs and projects during its full council meeting yesterday.
However, Cebu City’s infrastructure projects were excluded because these lacked an endorsement from the Cebu City Development Council (CDC).
Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) Chairperson Emmanuel Rabacal said that Cebu City needs to submit a resolution endorsing the projects proposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Rabacal explained that before the RDC can approve any budget proposal, it should first pass through the Provincial Development Council (PDC) or the CDC in the case of Cebu City.
National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 Director Efren Carreon said all the documents needed for the 2016 budget proposal should be ready before April 16.
Neda will have to submit the proposed budget to the National Government.
DPWH Cebu City District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor said he is set to present the list of projects, mostly road concreting, on May 22 during the CDC meeting.
For the City to beat the deadline, officials of the RDC agreed to ask CDC to conduct a special session.
Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, the chairperson, presided over yesterday’s full council meeting.
The RDC approved the 2016 budget proposal, divided into four sectors: development administration (P427.44 million), social development (P55.310 billion), economic development (P3.730 billion) and infrastructure (P49.395 billion).
Cebu got the biggest budget for social development at P38.285 billion and infrastructure, at P21.858 billion.
Based on the data provided by the IDC, among the projects that DPWH 7 will implement are road network development, construction of roads leading to strategic tourism destinations, flood control and shore protection.
In an interview, DPWH 7 Ador Canlas said the amount approved for Cebu under the infrastructure sector does not include Cebu City yet.
Among the proposals for Cebu City in 2016 are road concreting projects.
He requested the CDC to hold a special session instead of the scheduled May 22 meeting.
In a separate interview, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the City has not been “remiss in convening CDC.”
“If none is approved, for example, we will not die. We still have private participation that is very active,” Rama told reporters.
When asked if he will convene the CDC before April 16, he answered, “It has been convened.”
Rama came in the afternoon and was not able to witness when the infrastructure proposals for Cebu City were exempted from the RDC’s approval.
The mayor arrived in time to receive the city’s award from the RDC. The City’s Local Project Monitoring Committee won as the best project implementer in 2014.
Rama thanked the RDC officials for the award.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources 7 also won for best implemented project for its community-based forest management and mangrove projects implemented in Negros Oriental.
Also during the RDC meeting, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) projects intended for Negros Oriental were put on hold after Gov. Roel Degamo said these did not pass through their PDC.
Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, third district) questioned the budget proposal of the DA for Negros Oriental when it was not endorsed by the PDC.
“It really does not feel right that the national government agencies would not coordinate with the PDC,” said Garcia, former governor of Cebu.
Chatto said the approval of the DA’s budget for Negros will be set aside until the DA and Governor Degamo’s dialogue is concluded.
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