MEMBERS of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental unanimously approved the proposed P3.546-billion budget of the Provincial Government for 2018 during the session Wednesday.
Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of committee on appropriations, budget, finance, ways and means, pushed for the third and final reading of the appropriation ordinance since there were no more queries from the board members.
The budget for next year is 12 percent higher compared to this year’s budget, which is P3.154 billion.
Of the total 2018 budget, P3.182 billion will be allocated to the General Fund, P1.456 billion to the Hospital Operations Department (HOD), and P66.286 million to the Economic Enterprise.
The appropriation under the General Fund covers personal services (PS) at P779 million, and maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) at P281 million.
The budget under General Fund also includes special appropriations of P963 million, and P1.1 billion for inter-fund transfer to HOD and EEDD.
For HOD, the budget covers PS at P1.255 billion, MOOE at P196 million, and other appropriations at P5 million.
The budget for Economic Enterprise includes P38 million for PS, P27 million for MOOE, and P1.2 million for other appropriations.
The provincial government’s income will be sourced from its projected internal revenue allotment at P3 billion, and local income at P152 million from the General Fund, while P308 million is expected to come from HOD and P55 million from the Economic Enterprise.
In the committee report, it said that the third tranche of the salary adjustments of the Capitol employees, which will take effect January next year, is included in the budget.
It also said that starting 2018, there will be no contractual employees, but instead they will be classified as casuals.
“All casual positions will be included in the plantilla. Any changes in the casual position require SP approval. The names of casuals in the plantilla are not final, it can be changed without SP approval,” the committee report said.
Hospital heads also requested additional personnel and medical staff as mandated by the Department of Health, it said.
It also said that the Human Resource Management Department and the Organic Farming Division under the Office of the Governor were created.
Escalante said there’s an average of 70 Capitol employees who are retiring every year.
“To replenish that, it takes time. Much more to hire additional employees,” he said, adding that “because the human resource office is now departmentalized, I’m sure the promotion and the hiring will be faster.”