Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong recently transmitted to the city council for consideration the proposed P1.904 billion annual budget of the city next year.
In his budget message, the mayor stated the 2021 proposed annual budget is 15.54 percent lower than this year’s P2.255 billion budget which is inevitable, although it might be a temporary setback.
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.
Under the proposed 2021 annual budget, 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 local chief executive pointed out that the estimated budget is supported by income certified by the city’s local finance committee to be collected from internal and external sources such as tax revenue that accounts for 22.16 percent or P422,120,000; non-tax revenue which was projected to contribute 18.39 percent or P350,310,000; share from economic zones that will have a share of 6.56 percent or P125,000,000; and share from Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) which has the biggest contribution with 52.76 percent or P1,004,552,458; share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that has only 0.13 percent or P2,500,000.
He explained that comparative data of the city’s revenues and expenditures for the 3 years covering 2019, 2020 and 2021 shows a declares of 15.54 percent and calendar year 2020 budget brought about by the COVID-19 economic down turn.
The council will be scheduling the conduct of the required budget deliberations starting the first week of November so that the city’s annual budget could be passed and signed into law before the end of the year to avoid the operation of a re-enacted budget. By Dexter A. See