A BILLION peso budget has finally been approved for 2017.

Last week, days before the turn of the year, the City Council approved the P1.77 billion budget during their last session.

The original budget was set at P1.766 billion to which Mayor Mauricio Domogan asked for an increase saying “we beg for your understanding on the limited sources of income to support the programs and projects being proposed on the budget, mindful of the needs of our people, we are optimistic of the positive results of our collective efforts to rationalize the tax revenues in the city to make it more realistic, reasonable and fair.”

P10 million was added to the original budget proposal which was broken down to include additional medical assistance to the Benguet General Hospital and Medical Center, completion of the rehabilitation of Malcolm Square, completion of barangay halls and purchase of tow trucks.

Expenditures of the annual budget will be personal services, maintenance and other operating expenditures, capital outlay, non-office expenditures, disaster risk reduction and management fund and development fund.

Domogan said budget allocated for each department are earmarked for necessary expenses and the local government has adopted austerity measures to cut cost without compromising efficient and effective delivery of services.

The local government earmarked amounts for the construction of buildings for some offices such as the City Buildings and Architecture, Civil Registry, City Engineer’s, Division of City Schools and improvement of health centers to improve working conditions for increased productivity of the workforce and for better service delivery. The purchase of units of heavy equipment for the City Engineer’s Office and City Environment and Parks Management Office is necessary to equip them for road construction and maintenance, tree cutting activities and for use during natural and man-made calamities.