Baguio Council passes P1.9 billion city budget on first reading

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading an ordinance appropriating the amount of P1.904 billion as the city’s annual budget for next year.

Further, the legislators required the city’s local finance committee to submit to the Council the cash analysis and a comparative study on the advantage of including the sources of income placed under the trust fund to the general fund for consideration in the future.

The Council agreed to devote the remaining sessions of the year for the deliberations on the proposed annual budget aside from the hearings that will be conducted by the different committees tasked to work on the budgets of the departments.

Under the proposed 2021 annual budget, the sources of revenues for programmed expenditures include tax revenues – P422,120,000; non-tax revenue – P350,310,000; share from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) – P125,000,000; share from Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) – P1,004,552,458; and share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) – P2,500,000.

The council tasked the different committees to schedule the initial hearings on the budgets of the departments so that the formal deliberations will be done smoothly to prevent possible delays in the approval of the proposed annual budget.

The expenditures programmed in next year’s budget include personal services account for 45.19 percent or P640,592,000; maintenance and other operating expenses followed with 38.13 percent or P726,110,458; capital outlay was provided with 1.13 percent or P21,555,000; development fund was allotted 10.55 percent or P201,000,000; and disaster risk reduction and management fund was provided with 5 percent or P95,225,000.

Further, the city’s proposed 2021 annual budget is categorized into sectors defined under the pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code as general services which was earmarked 42.71 percent or P813,384,000; economic services that was allocated 23.73 percent or P451,861,000; social services was provided with 18.01 percent or P343,012,458 and other services that was allocated P15.55 percent or P296,225,000.

The highlights of next year’s proposed budget include full provision of the statutory obligations for the second tranches of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) II, including the upgrading of the entry level of nurse positions to Salary Grade 15 pursuant to budget circulars; full provision for mandatory appropriations for the 5 percent city disaster risk reduction and management fund and the 20 percent development fund; imposition of budget cuts on maintenance and other operating expenses by 11 percent across all departments but the same will not compromise responsive and prompt delivery of basic services; the identification of priorities under the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) that support the present administration\s 16-point core agenda and the department budgets proposed are guided by prudence and aligned with the city’s development goals with bias to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and similar occurrences.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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