CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said Friday, October 18, that the P500-million assistance for the Cagayan de Oro Water District (Cowd) has been added as a new item to his proposed P7.5 billion for 2020.
The all-time high annual budget has been submitted to the City Council last week.
Moreno is making good of his campaign promise to help Cowd's services improve.
He said the city needs to subsidize the COWD's capital outlay projects, "otherwise water services will remain inefficient."
However, Moreno assured that the city subsidy will be recoverable over a period of time.
"Kung dili nato buhaton, kung mag-rely ta sa ilang kaugalingon nga operating revenues, it will take time. Dili nila kaya. Dili baya sayon sa water district maghulam because they are a regulated sector," he added.
(If we don't work on it, if we would rely on their own operating revenues, it will take time. They cannot do it. It's not easy for the water districts to borrow money because they are a regulated sector.)
Last week, Councilor Edgar Cabanlas also urged Moreno to support the P632-million water projects in the city. The proposal is still under deliberation at the committee level.
On the proposed 2020 budget, social services gets "a good part of the budget, followed by infrastructure.
"The budget represents the best that can possibly be delivered using our own resources," Moreno said.
Moreno said he hopes the City Council will approve the proposed budget, but pointed out that he also welcomes revisions.
"The budget, how it works, it's democracy in action. The legislative considers it, approves it. But they can make revisions if they want. That's the beauty of democracy," he added.
Moreno, meanwhile, assured businessmen that there will be no increase on tax collection, only improvement of the tax collection efficiency.
In an earlier interview, Councilor Edna Dahino, chairperson of the committee on finance, said the budget deliberations will begin this week.