Cebu 2024 budget increased to P25B

Cebu City Hall
Cebu City Hall(Google steet view)

THE annual budget of the Cebu City Government for year 2024 has been amended, with almost P4 billion added to the previously approved P22 billion after the budget and finance committee admitted there were “typographical errors” committed in the approved budget.

The members of the Cebu City Council convened for a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, through Zoom, to discuss several matters, including the amendment of the ordinance providing for the 2024 annual budget.

Cebu City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, in a phone interview before the start of the special session, said they had committed a few errors in the budget appropriation for the City Legal Office (CLO) and Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF).

Wenceslao said the first error revolved around the CLO’s maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), where a “typographical error” inflated the allocated amount.

He said the accurate allocation stood at P1,980,000, but they had listed it as P1,980,000,000.

He said the second error revolved around the budget appropriation for the LDRRMF.

Wenceslao explained that upon review and assessment of disaster-related laws, they found out that the law stipulates that the disaster fund should amount to five percent of the estimated revenue.

He said with an estimated revenue of P100 billion, the appropriate allocation should have been P5 billion. However, the ordinance reflected a lower allocation of only P1 billion.

“We have to make amendments (for) the budget appropriation... We have to amend the ordinance because naa mi nakita nga sayop (we found errors). We have to admit it nga naay sayop (there were mistakes),” Wenceslao said.

During the virtual special session, Pesquera also admitted the mistake.

Wenceslao said they had to make the amendments before the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the budget.

Nearly P4 billion

After a unanimous decision to amend the ordinance for the 2024 annual budget, the council approved the amount of P25,833,177,745.20, indicating a near P4 billion increase from the first approved P22 billion annual budget.

Wenceslao earlier said there was a need for a two-thirds vote in order to amend an ordinance already approved by the council.

It was Pesquera, budget and finance committee vice chairperson, who moved for the approval of the amended ordinance for the 2024 annual budget.

Last Dec. 20, the council approved the annual budget of P19,998,463,532.30 for general funds and P2,095,399,689.40 for special accounts to cover various expenditures of the Cebu City Government for the year 2024.

On Dec. 27, the City Council approved the ordinance pertaining to the 2024 annual budget, as amended, in the amount of P23,779,096,005.80 for general fund proper (inclusive of subsidy in the amount of P904,399,689.40) and P2,054,081,739.40 for the special accounts.

Based on what?

On Wednesday, Councilors Nestor Archival and Mary Ann de los Santos asked whether the five percent, referring to the LDRRMF, is based on the actual collection or solely on the projected collection.

Pesquera said the amount they approved for the disaster fund was based on the approved P20 billion-plus budget; however, the five percent should be based on the projected source of funds, which is P100 billion.

Pesquera added that within the proposed ordinance, they have incorporated a control mechanism, so that in the event the 2024 collection falls short, only the amount based on the actual collection will be considered as continuing in order to avoid budget deficits.

Archival also inquired whether the proposed amount adheres to the boundaries set by the law.

In response, Wenceslao said it does, citing his report that the appropriation should not exceed P50 billion.


During the session, Wenceslao presented the following amendments to the 2024 annual budget:

•P200 million for South Road Properties (SRP) management and completion of the Banug road;

•P200 million for lot acquisitions;

•P200 million for lot acquisitions and socialized housing;

•P100 million for other land improvements and site development;

•P200 million for comprehensive climate change adaptation and mitigating projects;

•P100 million for the establishment of digital highways in Cebu City Hall, including hardware and software;

•P80 million Secretariat Capital Outlay and renovation of the Legislative Department building;

•P3 million for the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS);

•P168 million for the Persons with Disability Welfare program;

•P10,500,000 for the Nutrition program, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE);

•P2 million for the Office of City Agriculture and MOOE and P5 million for other supplies, materials, poultry and livestock dispersals

During the session, the differences in the amended amounts from the original figures were not presented.

Wenceslao also presented corrections to the figures as indicated in the executive budget:

•Human Resource Development Office and its MOOE, from P15,090,000 to P5 million;

•Department of General Services (DGS), capital outlay, and DGS information system, from P5 million to P1 million;

•DGS’ MOOE and insurance expenses, from P36 million to P23 million;

•Office of the City Legal and its MOOE, from P1,983,000 to P500,000;

•Cebu City Medical Center College of Nursing, from P300,000 to P1;

•Department of Public Services’ (DPS) MOOE, other supplies, material expense, miscellaneous services of street cleaning, from P4,197,690 to P500,000;

•DPS’ capital outlay and heavy equipment, from P9,500,000 to P5 million; and

•Department of Engineering and Public Works’ road opening and widening of R.R. Landon St. to J. Alcantara St. via J. Urgello Street, from P173,655,000 to P86,827,500.

Last Dec. 21, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama expressed his displeasure at the Cebu City Council’s slashing of his proposed P100 billion budget for 2024 to just P22 billion.

The mayor, who got the P50 billion he had requested for a budget for 2023, failed to convince the council to double the City’s budget for next year, especially after the City had, as of last month, collected only P7 billion of the P50 billion budget for this year.

The executive department, including Rama, has yet to specify what steps he will take after getting only one-fourth of the budget he had asked for.


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