Calamity funds 'might run out'

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014


WHILE the executive department of the City Government of Davao is asking for an additional funding worth P60 million to further support the fire victims, a member of the legislative body underscored Tuesday his fear for a possible “bankruptcy.”

“I am worried that if there will be two, three or five more conflagrations, the city might declare bankruptcy because our funds, if you look at the budget of the city, have not increased correspondingly,” Councilor Diosdado Mahipus said during the privilege hour of the regular session Tuesday morning.

Mahipus issued the statement in view of the request of the executive department, through Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, to allocate P60,770,000 for “mitigation purposes of the evacuation site for Badjao-evacuees, fencing and securing Isla Verde and initial rehabilitation of the area.”

Despite questions and opposition from some members, the City Council approved the request under suspended rules.

However, Mahipus said he is concerned as to how the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) will be able to cope up with the collection of taxes for the city’s future allocation.

“Contrary to the budget income that is being submitted to us, the investments that come in to Davao has tremendously increased. And it is a great wonder that while investments have come in bulk, the effect as to our increase in revenue is in trickles,” Mahipus said.

Meanwhile, Councilor Rene Elias Lopez also questioned the executive department whether there are other sources of funds left to finance emergencies in the next months.

City accountant Rizalina Justol said the city has no other sources of funds left but it could “request the national offices to augment”.

Quitain said the city will continue supporting the fire victims of Barangays 23-C and 22-C until the residents will be able to transfer in their respective areas.

"As long as there is a need to assist people, then we will continue doing so," he said.

The Task Force Isla Verde has not provided any copy of the breakdown of the P60-million budget.

However, according to City Engineer's Office OIC Engr. Roland Reyes, half of the P60 million additional budget will be allocated for the road network in Isla Verde.

He said other finances include fencing of the area, initial development of Isla Verde, foot bridges, among others. Justol also revealed that of the P45-million budget that was initially allocated for the residents, at least P2.9 million balance is still available.

She said the city might use the remaining P2.9 million to augment the pending funding request worth P60 million.

Records from the City Budget Office also showed that the remaining balance of the city for its calamity fund is P201,151,041.20.

The city has appropriated some P250 million for its calamity fund for the year 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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