City to pay less for debt servicing in 2011

12/19/10 - CEBU CITY, Philippines (PNA) – The Cebu City Government intends to spend P54 million less on debt servicing in 2011, compared to what it spent this year.

Cebu City Budget Officer Nelfa Briones, who appeared during a recent hearing on the proposed P4.45-billion budget for next year, said the city’s only loan is the one it took out for the South Road Properties (SRP).

About P522 million is budgeted for loan servicing for 2011 compared to P576 million this year. The SRP loan is payable every Feb. 20 and Aug. 20.

Cebu City Treasurer Ofelia Olive assured there will be enough resources to cover said proposed P4.45 billion budget, the largest ever proposed in the city’s history.

The City Government will not depend entirely on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) because it gets a higher amount from its tax revenues and projected sale of government lots, she said.

City Hall will operate on a “balanced, adequate, responsive and effective” budget for 2011, amounting to P4.45 billion, which is 57 percent bigger than the 2010 annual budget.

Mayor Michael Rama said the budget will address the needs of every Cebuano in the city and will keep the city competitive and be one of the best in Asia.

In his speech, Rama urged the department heads and city councilors to work together to use the budget effectively in addressing their constituents’ concerns amid criticisms of his management of the City Government, most recently by his predecessor, Rep. Tomas OsmeƱa (Cebu City, south district).

”We will navigate towards 2011 with no stones unturned. There are opinions, diverse and sundry as the issues may be, but in the end, we will rally together towards creating a more sustainable future for us all. We will set aside differences and focus on converging behind those that really count. I therefore appeal to this august body that we let this budget become our common ground—a budget for unity amidst diversity,” Rama said.

The budget will also help City Hall in making the city the central tourism and investment destination, he added. (manila bulletin)

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