IT’S still the middle of the year but the Cebu City Government’s P40-million budget for City-sponsored activities has already been used up.
As a result, requests from the barangays to let City Hall provide funds for various programs and activities will no longer be granted and they will no longer issue certificates of fund availability, said City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas.
Cuevas made this disclosure yesterday during an executive session yesterday to update councilors on charges made to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds and the City-sponsored activities account.
For the City-sponsored activities, Cuevas said the P40 million fund has already been depleted due to many requests for sponsorships.
Of the P40 million, P20 million was set aside to cover the cost of the holding of the Sinulog celebration last January.
Some P3 million, on the other hand, was used for the Charter Day celebration of the City Government last February.
A P5 million fund has also been set aside to cover the cost of City Hall’s Christmas party in December while the remaining more than P11 million was used to cover sponsorships for “other activities,” which include requests from the barangays.
Based on Executive Order 13-3 issued by Mayor Michael Rama last year, the City-sponsored activities account can be used to fund barangay events such as bingo socials, raffles, sports events, cultural shows and contests, and trainings and seminars among others.
Cuevas told the members of the council that they have “overdrawn” or overcharged from the P11 million fund set aside for “other activities.”
Because of this, they have used some P6 million out of the P20 million budget for the Sinulog to cover non-Sinulog activities.
This includes among many others the P1.65 million financial assistance to Barangay Basak San Nicolas’ Lumad Basakanon when they competed during the Aliwan Festival last April; P130,000 for Barangay Mabini for their festival; and P130,000 for Kasadya sa Plaza Independencia.
Upon learning about the matter, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, chairperson of the council’s committee on budget and finance, asked what will happen to the payables for the holding of the Sinulog when they have already used up some of the amount.
The P20 million, as provided for under the budget ordinance covering the P5.89 billion budget of the City for this year, is supposed to cover the cash prizes for the winners in the Sinulog grand parade.
Cuevas said they have already paid the cash prizes last January yet and was covered by the P14 million balance.
As for the Pagcor funds, Cuevas said the City still has enough money, adding that as of June 9, they have P90 million cash in bank.
Pagcor funds can be used for health care, self-sustainable livelihood projects, scholarships and infrastructure projects essential to the community among many others.