Cebu City ’24 budget P22B, not P100B

Cebu City ’24 budget P22B, not P100B
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THE Cebu City Government’s annual budget for 2024 will not be P100 billion, as originally proposed by the executive department under the administration of Mayor Michael Rama.

Instead, the City Council only approved over P20 billion to cover next year’s expenses during its regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.

The annual budget ordinance was authored by City Councilors Noel Wenceslao and Jocelyn Pesquera.

Of the total budget, P19.998 billion will be appropriated for the general fund proper, which consists of personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), and capital outlay. Another P2.055 billion will be for special accounts.

Down to P1

The revised budget slashed the proposal of some offices to just P1.

These include the Oplan Disiplina, which asked for P2 million for equipment and another P2 million for the purchase of a motor vehicle; Cebuano Cinema Development, which asked for P2.58 million for a motor vehicle; Garbo sa Asenso Sumbanan Alyansa (Gasa), which asked for P2.2 million; Coastline Management, which asked for P12 million; Prevention, Restoration, Order Beautification and Enhancement team, which asked for P2.42 million; Cebu City Women’s and Family Affairs Commission, which asked for P1 million for information and technology equipment and P4 million for motor vehicles; and Human Resource and Development Office, which asked for P3 million for sports equipment and P3 million for motor vehicles, among others.

With the amendments, around P78.8 billion was slashed from the general fund proper, which is now down to just P10.98 billion.

Other expenditures

Under the Office of the Mayor, the proposed budget was P500 million, but this was later amended to P400 million.

The allocation includes expenditures for various activities such as Charter Day (P15 million), Christmas (P15 million), Teachers’ Day Celebration (P10 million), Sinulog (P70 million), other activities (P90 million) and Palarong Pambansa (P200 million).

As for its special bodies, projects and programs and other operating expenses, the Senior Citizen Affairs Office was allocated a P4 million budget; the Cebu City Wildlife Rescue Conservation Protection Facility, P10 million; South Road Properties Management, P10 million; and Barangay Affairs Office, P42.6 million, among others.

Pesquera, citing Section 5 of the ordinance, said appointments to replace defunded positions in the regular workforce will be funded by adding money from the lump-sum appropriations for salaries and wages, which follows the policy guidelines of the local chief executive or the presiding officer of the Cebu City Council, in line with Section 336 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.

Pesquera, citing Section 6, said the ordinance allows the local chief executive or the Sanggunian’s presiding officer to increase any item in their approved annual budget using savings from similar expense categories within their budget. However, any increase from lump-sum appropriations or capital outlay accounts, such as motor vehicles and information and communications technology equipment, needs approval from the City Council.

Sources of funds

The budget and finance committee said the sources for general funds include tax revenue (P77.5 billion), non-tax revenue (P10,553,965,069), National Tax Allotment (P2,904,572,882), share from government-owned and -controlled corporations (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. /Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) (P288 million), share from economic zones (P600 million), and other sources such as profits from joint ventures (P7 billion)

For special accounts, sources include funding from various entities such as city hospitals (Cebu City Medical Center, Guba and Bonbon) through non-tax revenue (P1.021 billion) and subsidy from the general fund proper (P164,212,645); Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor through non-tax revenue (P20 million) and subsidy from the general fund proper (P159,272,468); city markets, through non-tax revenue (P150 million); and the Local Development Fund (LDF), a subsidy from the general fund proper (P580,914.576.40).

For the general fund, expenditures include personal services (P2,412,370,436), MOOE (P1,906,015,572.30), and capital outlay (P15,680,077,524).

For special accounts, expenditures include personal services (P617,883,097), MOOE (P764,500,865), and capital outlay (P671,697,776.40). (JJL, AML)

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