Capitol eyes P3.5-B budget for next year

NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. is proposing an annual budget of P3.546 billion for 2018.

Provincial Budget Officer Jose Percival Salado Jr. said the budget proposal for next year is 12 percent higher compared to this year’s budget of P3.154 billion.

Of the proposed budget, P2.024 billion will be allocated to the General Fund, P1.456 billion to the Hospital Operations Department (HOD), and P66.286 million to Economic Enterprise, according to the Total Annual Budget Summary report.

The proposed appropriation under the General Fund covers Personal Services (PS) at P779 million and Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) at P281 million.

The budget proposal under General Fund also includes special appropriations at P963 million, which comprise the P608 million allocation for the 20 percent development fund, P160 million each for calamity fund, and gender and development programs, and P10 million for peace and order fund.

For the HOD, the proposed budget covers PS at P1.255 billion, MOOE at P196 million, and other appropriations at P5 million.

The proposed budget for Economic Enterprise includes P38 million for PS, P27 million for MOOE, and P1.2 million for other appropriations.

The Provincial Government’s income will be sourced from its projected Internal Revenue Allotment share of P3 billion, and local income of P152 million, which are under the General Fund, while P308 million is expected to come from HOD, and PP55 million from the Economic Enterprise.

Salado attributed the increase of the proposed budget, which is P392 million, to the salary of employees since the Provincial Government will implement the third tranche of the Salary Standardization Law next year.

He added that the last tranche of the salary increase will be implemented in 2019.

Salado said the proposed appropriation for MOOE was reduced by 23 percent to make room for other allocations in the budget.

The Provincial Government could pass a supplemental budget next year to compensate for the reduced allocation for MOOE, he added.

Salado said the proposed annual budget was already submitted to the Provincial Board for deliberation.

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of SP committee on appropriations, budget, finance, ways and means, said he is looking to convene the body on the first week of November, adding that the series of budget hearings are expected to start on November 8.

He said they are planning to hold the budget hearings on Tuesdays Wednesdays.

“We’re expecting to finish the hearings before December. Hopefully by the first week of December, we can pass the budget,” Escalante said.
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