Saturday, November 27, 2021

Cebu City wants P47M more, as Province eyes P15M hike

BOTH the Cebu City and Provincial Governments want to spend more money next year fighting the illegal drug menace.

The Cebu City Government’s executive department has proposed to set aside at least P50 million for its anti-illegal drug campaign next year, about P47 million more than its budget for this year.

Cebu Province is upgrading its anti-drug abuse council into a department, with a budget of P20.57 million, about P15 million more than its budget for 2016.

These changes appear to support the Duterte administration’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.

But neither the City nor the Province has a plan to build drug rehabilitation centers in 2017, although some money will be set aside for community-based rehabilitation programs.

In an earlier interview, Cebu City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia said that next year’s budget for the anti-drug program is bigger than that of the 2016 budget, to comply with instructions from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We really need to comply with DILG. As to what programs the City will implement, it will be up to the mayor, being the local chief executive,” she said.

Under the proposed 2017 annual budget of the City, the executive department has allotted P50 million for the anti-drug campaign program. A separate P1.7 million is intended for drug test supplies and related activities, and P350,000 for other materials and supplies.

This year, Cebu City has a P3-million budget for anti-drug campaign programs, P2 million for drug test materials, and P390,000 for supplies for other activities.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has yet to give the full list of his anti-illegal drug programs since the budget proposal will still have to go through the City Council.

The City Council received last week the proposed P7.26-billion budget for 2017, and referred it to the committee on budget and finance.

Aside from the budget for its anti-illegal drug campaign, the City has also set aside P53 million for its peace and order program.

That will pay for renovations and additional equipment for the new command center at the 9th floor of City Hall’s executive building; repair and improvement of police stations; purchase of firefighting equipment; and purchase of vehicles for the police, among others.

At the Capitol, what currently operates as a council will be converted into a department with its own budget in 2017.

The Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CPADAC) this year has a budget of P5,540,000. Next year’s budget will be P20,578,252, if the Provincial Board (PB) approves the proposal from the council’s head, former PB Member Carmen Durano-Meca.

The proposed 2017 budget is composed of P18.326 million for maintenance and other operating expense (MOOE) plus non-office equipment (NOE); salaries and wages at P1.952 million; and P300,000 for honoraria.

The Capitol wants P3 million next year for rewards to police operatives who do well in anti-drug operations. This year’s budget is only P10,000.

Training expenses, as proposed, will go up from P500,000 this year to P1.5 million in 2017 if the budget is approved.

This will reportedly include training for barangay and town employees on how to handle those who surrender.

There are three items for funding in next year’s budget for the anti-drug abuse office.

One is for consultancy services, with a P300,000 allocation; Sugbo Kontra Droga (Sukod), with a P5-million proposed allocation; and the Limpiyo Probinsiya Program, with P2.5 million. The budget for consultancy services
will include fees for professionals trained in rehabilitation programs.

These three items used to be under the Office of the Governor’s budget for peace and order.
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