LT council okays P525 million annual budget

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal council recently approved the municipal government’s annual budget amounting to P525 million that will be used to sustain the implementation of the anti-Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) response and other major development projects of the municipality.

Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan stated that the town’s appropriation ordinance was immediately transmitted by Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Edward Juanito to the provincial board for favourable review before the same will be brought back to the municipality for implementation while awaiting the review that will be conducted by the regional office of the budget department.

He said that the annual budget of the municipality this year is around 5 percent lower compared to the more than P580 million budget of the municipal government last year.

The vice mayor claimed that the major reason for the significant reduction in the annual budget of the local government this year is because of the alleged inability of the municipal government to collect the local taxes included in their target collection last year because of the heavy impact of the prevailing various levels of community quarantine to the overall state of the local economy.

Despite the significant reduction in the annual budget of the municipality, he allayed the fears of some sectors that the implementation of development projects and the enhancement of the delivery of basic services will be affected, saying that municipal officials and employees will continue to find ways and means on how to wisely use the limited funds for the benefit of the greater welfare of the populace.

According to him, the reduction of the annual budget will definitely have an impact on the expenditures of the local government but it will not mean that the delivery of services will be compromised because what is important for the municipal officials is for the people to be satisfied on the services being provided to them irregardless of the cost that it will entail.

Earlier, Mayor Romeo K. Salda transmitted to the municipal council the town’s annual budget, stating among others, that the municipal government will remain steadfast and aggressive in the implementation of the remaining funded priority development projects and will strive to improve the delivery of basic services for the benefit of the general welfare of the populace.

He disclosed that efforts are being done by the municipal officials to look for other sources of funding support from concerned government agencies to be able to recover what had been removed from the town’s annual budget so that whatever priority development projects that could be funded from outside sources could be provided with the needed support so as not to affect the pace of development that had been achieved by the municipality over the past several years.

La Trinidad is the center of education, trade and commerce in Benguet being its capital town located near Baguio city, the country’s undisputed Summer Capital and one of the premier tourist destinations outside Metro Manila.