NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) will start the deliberation of the proposed 2021 provincial budget by passing it for the first and second reading, and refer it to the Committee on Finance on Tuesday, October 20.
This after Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson submitted last week the proposed P4.4-billion provincial budget for 2021.
Ferrer assured that they will pass the budget in November, which is responsive to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Lacson has submitted the proposed budget to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for review and approval on Thursday.
The proposed general fund budget is P4,471,695,065. Allocated for personal services is P1,641,424,244, maintenance and other operating expenses – P1,374,658,871, capital outlay – P12,000,000 and special purpose appropriations – P1,443,611,950.
The P4.4 billion will come from tax revenues totaling P98,000,000, non tax revenues – P380,357,719, and Internal Revenue Allotment – P3,993,337,346.
Lacson said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an economic loss of P9.57 billion to Negros Occidental.
Because of the pandemic, he said the province’s priorities and its budget formulation have now shifted to more pressing concerns in the face of decreasing business activities and ensuring public health and safety.
Ferrer assured the approval of the proposed 2021 budget on time as "funds are needed amid the Covid-19 pandemic"
"Like the usual procedure a marathon hearing will be conducted and that the department heads will be invited to defend their respective budget," Ferrer said.