THE Cebu City Government will need P200 million to fund projects lined up by Mayor Michael Rama for the first 100 days of his term.

Rama has pledged to implement projects such as asphalting and improving the drainage system, health services, traffic and streetlights.

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He is also planning to renovate Plaza Independencia with the Cebu South Coastal Road tunnel project beneath it nearing completion.

Rama said the projects will be funded through Supplemental Budget (SB) 4 amounting to P200 million, which is expected to be passed by the city council soon.

However, Councilor Joey Daluz, who chairs the City Council committee on budget and finance, said he still hasn’t received the budget documents.

Daluz said that once the documents are sent to him, he will schedule a budget hearing to discuss the projects funded under SB-4.

Realigned funds

SB-4 will be funded with realigned funds, with the biggest chunk coming from the Local Development Fund (LDF) for this year, amounting to P153 million.

Former city mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña earlier suggested to city officials to realign the P40 million that was already set aside for the rehabilitation of rubberized oval of the Cebu City Sports Center.

He said the project can still be implemented even if its budget is realigned because the city can just borrow money to secure loan approval.

He said loan approval is enough for the Commission on Audit (COA) to allow the project’s bidding to proceed.

Since the project can never be completed this year, Osmena said the city doesn’t need the money from the bank because it can pay the contractor after the surplus funds for 2010 are realized.

But the Rama administration is not keen on borrowing money from the bank implement projects with realigned funds.

‘We can pay’

He said he doesn’t want the city to drown in debts because it is is still paying its huge loan for the the South Road Properties (SRP).

“When we borrow that means we can pay, unlike many, they keep on borrowing even if they don’t have the capacity of paying, that’s why they are into what we call the state of drowning in debts,” Rama said.

Cebu City is projecting to have over a billion pesos in surplus funds for this year but COA doesn’t allow supplemental budget to be financed based on projections.

That is the reason why City Hall needs to realign some appropriations approved in the last several supplemental budgets.

Daluz said if the city budget office can submit the documents in time, SB-4 can be approved as early as the end of this month.