Additional budget eyed for elderly aid, capital outlay

THE first supplemental budget next year will most likely cover the purchase of equipment for different offices at the Cebu City Hall and additional aid for senior citizens.

City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, committee on budget and finance chairman, said there is a possibility the mayor will propose a supplemental budget as early as February.

Garcia expects Mayor Edgardo Labella to augment funds for capital outlay, which covers office equipment, supplies and renovation of offices and building.

He said there is also a possibility the mayor will augment funds for programs and financial assistance for senior citizens.

He said the budget allocated for capital outlay and aid for senior citizens from the annual budget might fall short.

In its P10.4-billion 2020 annual budget, the City allocated around P500 million for the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca). It also allocated P700 million for the payment of its South Road Properties (SRP) loan; P250 million for the modernization of the city’s traffic system, with the amount completing the Cebu City Transportation Office’s request of P500 million for this purpose; P500 million for garbage collection and disposal; construction of a material recovery facility; purchase of hydraulic compaction garbage trucks and bins; and P25 million for the construction of a water management facility.

The 2020 budget will cover various expenditures for the operations of different departments of the City Government from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

Garcia hoped the budget allocated to different departments will be used for its intended purpose.

Biggest fund sources, or P1.5 billion, are proceeds of the sale of lots at the South Road Properties (SRP) to the consortium of the SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land Inc. Other sources include collected taxes at P4.2 billion; Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the National Government for 2020 at P2.2 billion; non-tax revenues at P2 billion; and the City’s share of taxes paid by enterprises in economic zones at P275 million.

The 2020 annual budget is P2 billion more than the 2019 budget, which was P8.1 billion.

The annual budget was approved during the regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, with 10 in favor, seven against and one abstention. (JJL)