NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) is smoothly deliberating the proposed 2022 Provincial Budget and may approve it last week of the month or first week of December 2021.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson’s proposed 2022 annual budget of the province is P5.7 billion, which is 20-percent higher compared to the 2021 annual budget of P4.4 billion.

The increase is due to the Mandanas Ruling of the Supreme Court, which said that all collections of the Commission on Customs and other taxes will be included in the computation of the National Tax Allotment (NTA), otherwise known as the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Ferrer said they are wrapping up the budget deliberation and that there are no other additional proposals.

Although there are small questions and small changes in the proposed budget, it is “smooth sailing all the way,” he said.

During the hearings, Ferrer noted that there were several delays in Lacson's infrastructure projects for the province which is expected due to several weather disturbances noted this year as well as the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

A big chunk of the proposed P5,719,337,346 budget for 2022 will go to Special Purpose Appropriations (SPA) pegged at P2,142,140,592 or 37.45 percent.

For Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), a total of P1,812,481,024 or 31.69 percent is allotted; personal services at P1,752,715,730 or 30.65 percent of the budget; and capital outlay at P12,000,000 or .21 percent.

Under the personal services, a total of P1,143,071,636 or 65.22 percent is allotted for social services sector; P344, 765, 598 or 19.67 percent for general public services sector; and P264,878,496 or 15.11 percent for the economic services sector.

A total of P183,846,174.37 was appropriated for the operation of the Economic Enterprise Development Department.

File Photo: Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer says the deliberations for the 2022 proposed provincial budget is “smoothly sailing.”