THE Covid-19 pandemic drove the Cebu City Government to appropriate a large sum to the health sector.
The executive department has submitted to the Cebu City Council its proposed 2021 annual budget amounting to P10.8 billion.
Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, said the City Health Department was appropriated P305 million for its field and barangay programs.
On top of the P305 million is another P150 million intended for anti-pneumonia and anti-flu vaccines.
Garcia said another P576 million was proposed for the improvement of hospital equipment and services.
Other offices that got large chunks from the proposed budget include the senior citizens’ financial assistance with P900 million; aid to the barangays amounting to P796 million; Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) with
P565 million; Department of Public Services (DPS) with P539 million; and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management sector with P383 million.
The executive department also proposed to allocate P371 million for the payment of the South Road Properties (SRP).
A total of P289 million was proposed for the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) for maintenance of the drainage system and city streets.
Garcia said the proposed budget will be sourced from local revenue sources with P4.9 billion; from external sources with P2.740 billion; SRP lot sale of P3 billion; and from special accounts amounting to P1.239 billion.
Garcia said the City needs to use the proceeds from the SRP lot sale as the City fell short from its other sources of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have no other choice, but to source it from the SRP proceeds,” said Garcia.
The budget hearing is expected to commence in November after the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The proposed budget for 2021 is P400 million higher than 2020 budget which was P10.4 billion.
As of October, the City has had three supplemental budget for 2020. / JJL