Council passes in mass motion ordinance covering the 2011 budget

12/22/2010 - THE Cebu City Council approved yesterday the P4.4-billion annual budget for next year, which is so far the biggest annual appropriation approved in the city’s history.

During its regular session yesterday, the council passed on mass motion the ordinance covering the 2011 budget that was filed by Councilor Jose Daluz III, who chairs the committee on budget and finance.

The ordinance was passed with only minor changes, aside from the P168.3 million that was realigned from one department to the other who is in the frontline of delivering basic services to the city’s constituents.

These changes include, among others, the modification of language, account codes and account charges.

In particular, the hazard pay for the Department of Public Services (DPS) has been renamed “sanitation allowance” to meet the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) rules. The Cebu City Housing Program under the Office of the Mayor has been renamed the Local Housing Board. Next year, City Hall will operate on a “balanced, adequate, responsive and effective” budget totaling to P4,453,614,723, which is 57 percent higher compared to the annual budget this year.

Under the newly-approved budget, the biggest share goes to maintenance and other operating expenses amounting to at least P2.7 billion.

This already covers the traveling expenses of the employees and department heads, both local and foreign, among others.

The second largest appropriation is the P844 million that will be used for personal services, which includes the commutable allowances, productivity incentive allowance, cash gift, yearend bonus and overtime pay of the 5,000 employees of City Hall.

In the total approved budget, at least P505.7 million has been set aside as subsidy to special accounts. At least P341 million of this was for the Local Development Fund, P2 million for Cebu City Resource Management and Development Center (Cremdec), P110 million for the hospitals, P2 million for the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP), P29 million for the markets and P19 million for traffic management.

The City has also set aside P149 million as calamity fund for next year while P191 million was budgeted for foreign loan payments and P139 million for foreign interest expenses.

Supporting the 2011 budget is the P4.5 billion that City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva has certified as estimated collectible for next year.

That includes P1.4 billion from taxes, P1.1 billion from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), P145 million from the City’s share from economic zones and P1.1 billion from the sale of government lots. For the implementation of the budget, Daluz said the lump sum appropriation specifically for the City Sponsored Activities and appropriation for Sports Development projects, which are P40 million and P33.6 million, respectively, will be referred back to the council for review and approval. (Sun Star)

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