DURING an out-of-town session on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) passed on second reading the proposed P23 billion annual budget for 2024 without amendments.
The proposed 2024 annual budget, according to Cebu’s Sixth District board member Glenn Anthony Soco, is about 14 percent higher than the approved 2023 annual budget of P20.15 billion.
More than half of the proposed 2024 annual budget has been earmarked for development funds.
The session on Monday was held at the session hall of the Municipality of Tudela, wherein Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia delivered a privilege speech before the PB assembly presided over by board member Red Duterte on Monday.
Garcia said the proposed programs, projects, and activities, “which amount to billions of pesos, are the administration’s commitment to sustain Cebu’s progress as the premier province of the country.”
Soco said the Budget and Finance Committee deliberated on the proposed budget with the assistance of the Local Finance Committee and other department heads.
They have determined that the budget is in proper form, meets all the requirements as stated in the Department of Budget and Management’s circulars and memoranda, and in accordance with the Local Government Code.
Garcia, in her speech, laid out the breakdown of the budget allocated for each sectoral service. A total of P2,346,162,165.04 (10.20 percent) will go to the general public services, while P10,129,665,587.45 (44.04 percent) will be spent for social services, and P10,524,172,247.51 (45.76 percent) has been budgeted for economic services.
Of the proposed P23 billion budget, Garcia said they allocated P12 billion for Development Programs/ Projects. This figure is P2 billion higher than the allocation in 2023.
Among the priority projects under the proposed annual budget are (a) road/bridge construction/improvement/rehabilitation with an allocation of P3.5 billion, (b) water system development program (P3.3 billion), and (c) operation of hospitals and public health services at P3,833,797,821.61.
Garcia said the Provincial Government aims to upgrade the services of the four Provincial hospitals located in the cities of Danao, Carcar, and Bogo, and in the town of Balamban, from Level 1 status to Level 2 status, by providing new medical equipment, and supplies, and additional personnel.
She also said they plan to convert Camotes District Hospital into a provincial hospital and for the Minglanilla District Hospital to be recognized as a Trauma Center.
Garcia also allocated P100 million each for the Sugbo Negosyo Program, Sugbusog Program, Sugbo Kahanas Program, and Tindahan sa Kapitolyo. She also earmarked P400 million for agricultural, veterinary, and environmental facilities.
The proposed budget will undergo its third and final reading, following which Garcia will sign it for approval.