Capitol budget hike due to salary adjustment

THE bulk of increase in the proposed P2.931-billion budget of the Province of Negros Occidental for next year will go to the salary increase of the Capitol employees.

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of the committee on appropriations, budget, finance, ways and means, said there’s an increase of over P200 million from the P2.884 billion budget this year.

“It will be absorbed by the salary increase,” he said.

Of the P2.931 million budget, P1.187 billion will be allocated for the Hospital Operation Department (HOD) and P71 million for the Economic Enterprise Development Department (EEDD).

Under the General Fund, P669 million will be allocated to Personal Services (PS) , P373 million for the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), and P1.889 billion for Special Purpose Appropriations.

Special Appropriations include the P1.015 billion inter-fund transfer to HOD; P566 million 20 percent Development Fund; P146 million five percent calamity fund; P97 million additional gender and development programs; and P21 million inter-fund transfer to EEDD.

The Provincial Engineer’s Office has the highest allocation with P119 million followed by the Provincial Agriculturist with P88 million; Sangguniang Panlalawigan, P80 million; Governor’s Office, P79 million; and Provincial Health Office, P69 million.

The budget will be sourced from the province’s Internal Revenue Allotment share of P2.830 billion; local taxes of the General Fund at P101 million; income of EEDD at P49 million; and income from the 11 Capitol-run hospitals at P172 million.

For EEDD, the proposed budget covers PS at P35 million, MOOE at P35 million; and other appropriations at P1 million while appropriations for HOD include P929 million for PS, P255 million for MOOE, and P3 million for other appropriations.
Budget hearings set

Escalante said the four-day budget hearing will start on November 8.

Heads of 22 departments and offices of the provincial government will defend their budget proposals on the first day; 10 departments and offices will be called the following day; 23, on the third day; and 12, on the final day, November 11.

After the budget hearing, they will draft a committee report, which they expect to submit to the Provincial Board on the first week of December, Escalante said.

“We expect to start the deliberation on the budget by the second week of December,” he added.
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