‘City not bankrupt,’ Santiago confirms-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Only the mayor could say if the city is bankrupt -- and based on Commission on Audit observations, San Fernando is not.
This was emphasized by Mayor Edwin Santiago on Monday in a press conference at Heroes Hall, where he disclosed that city hall's coffers are healthy contrary to allegations that it is bankrupt.
"Hindi bankrupt ang City Government. Only the mayor could say so based on COA observations. Ako ang tatamaan pag ganyan. My responsibility is how to manage the budget and make the City Government operational," he said.
Santiago noted that of the projected P1.2-billion annual budget, only P960-million will be realized as reported to him by the City Finance Committee.
"Of that, as of June this year, P660-million has already been obligated or spent for social services and projects and programs that have been implemented and completed. So iyung natitirang P320-million are collectibles, plus iyung IRA na P30 million. Then Congressman Oca [Rodriguez] vowed to assist the city with a one-time P3-million aid," he stressed.
The P447-million deposited at LandBank, he added, is composed of trust funds and other General Fund allocations.
"Those are intended for programs like the Giant Lantern Festival, health, education, employees' benefits and calamity response," he said.
Santiago revealed that he has declared an austerity program to efficiently manage the city coffers.
"Our priority is public safety and order, solid waste management, benefits of our employees and continuity of vital projects like Sagip Ilog. Rest assured, we are managing the city well," Santiago said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 27, 2013.