Mayor’s office asked to cut proposed P2.5M travel budget

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THE proposed P2.5 million budget for travel expenses under the Office of the Cebu City Mayor has hit a snag.

City Councilor Alvin Dizon, a member of the opposition, opposed it.

The amount is broken down into P1.5 million for domestic travel and P1 million for international travel.

Dizon appealed to the executive department to lower the amount and take into consideration the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.

“The mayor has the right to ask for a budget for travel expenses, but since we are in a pandemic, we need much needed funds for the City Government’s continued pandemic response,” Dizon said.

The city councilor added that it would be too risky for city officials and personnel to travel amid the health crisis.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, for his part, said it does not mean his office will consume the whole P2.5 million should the council approve it.

Labella said the money will only be used “just in case there is a compelling need” to use it.

Dizon also pointed out the proposed P700,000 budget for snacks, accommodation and other related expenses under the City Administrator’s office.

Dizon said this should also be reduced so other programs like that of the Department of Social Welfare and Services will be given a bigger budget.

The council will continue the budget hearing for the 2021 annual budget next week.

The executive department has proposed a P10.8 billion budget for next year. / JJL