The city government was able to obligate some P377 million for various Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) operations enabling the city to effectively and efficiently handle the impact of the pandemic over the past two years.
However, City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente disclosed that for this year, there has been a drastic decline in the funds for COVID-19 operations which is only P75.9 million as the city anticipates better times in a new normal situation amidst the emerging threat of the more infectious and more transmissible Omicron variant.
Clemente claimed that the bulk of the expenses for COVID-19 response was for the emergency hiring of health workers to staff the different isolation centers and the maintenance of these facilities, aside from the procurement of the medical supplies needed by patients who have been required to undergo the mandatory isolation to recover from the deadly virus.
She stipulated that funds may not be enough to address the prevailing situation in the city but opportunities are limitless, thus, the city government continues to explore ways to augment the city’s resources through various means.
According to her, 2021 swiftly passed, thus, city officials and employees must find time to reflect on their work as public servants, especially on where they did well and where they were weak or lacking.
She pointed out that these add up to the collection of learning experiences to better themselves and the work they do.
Clemente expressed her gratitude, in behalf of the city budget office, to the city officials for their leadership and support and for impressing upon them that public service delivery should be an express service rendered with the highest standard of quality and effectiveness.
The city government department head also expressed her gratitude to the city officials and employees for the small and big successes they attained as these had been possible due to their collective efforts.
More importantly, she hailed the Association of City Executives (ACEX) for always being there, backing them in times of distress and sharing their joys when success is achieved.
Clemente revealed that most of the recommendations of the City Budget Office and the Local Finance Committee had been acted upon by concerned city officials swiftly and deliberated judiciously leading the city to have a sound fiscal management in administering its limited resources for programs, projects and activities that are beneficial to the greater majority of the city’s constituency.
She underscored that Baguio City is just one of the few local governments in the country where the executive and legislative departments work for the common good without consideration of personal interests and political affiliations and that the career officers who are the implementers of the programs, projects and activities are fortunate indeed as all efforts are geared towards uplifting the welfare of the people living in the city’s 128 barangays.