THE proposed P5.1 billion annual budget of Negros Occidental may be approved in December 2022 following its deliberation earlier this week.

First District Board Member Romel Debulgado, who is the chairman of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee Chairman on Budget, Finances and Ways Means, said that so far, the proposed fund of the province is “justifiable.”

Debulgado said that the proposed budget will be presented for approval on second and third reading on December 6.

“We hope to have the budget ready by January,” he said, adding that the province of Negros Occidental has never operated on reenacted budget.

Of the P5.1 billion budget, P4.9 billion is for the general fund while the rest is for economic enterprise.

It is said to be lower by 12.87 percent compared to the current budget by about P766 million.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said that the reduction in the budget was caused by the cut of at least P780 in the National Tax Allotment (NTA) of the province next year.

Lacson also noted that the maintenance and operating expenses of the province would be affected by the 14 percent reduction in the province's NTA for next year.