BAGUIO CITY – The City Council wants an increase in the P1.72 billion 2017 annual city budget to accommodate the funding of various ordinances, the creation of various positions in the offices of local legislators, the increase in project and medical allocations and to fund other priority development projects of the local government.
Instead of pushing for a P2 billion budget for next year, Councilor Elmer Datuin, chairman of the Council Committee on Appropriations and Finance, said the local legislative body is willing to settle for a minimum of P50 million and a maximum of P75 million increase in the proposed city budget next year to fund the list of priority concerns that was submitted by the members of the council to the local chief executive and the local finance committee for consideration.
He claimed members of the City Council are willing to settle for a compromise on the proposed significant increase in the budget in the meantime that the local legislative body is working on the timetable for the passage of the pending revenue measures, especially the newly submitted land valuation, related to the enactment of a supplemental budget next year once these revenue measures will be passed and implemented.
The City Council is deliberating the proposed budgets for each department of the local government that comprise the overall budget of the city next year.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the city’s local finance committee is willing to increase the income statement of the proposed annual budget next year if the local legislative body will enact the proposed revenue measures now pending before the concerned committees, saying that there were already public consultations conducted before and the City Assessor’s Office already submitted a downscaled proposal for the land valuation.
He explained the only remaining added sources of revenue for the city is the pending revenue measures to help improve the ability of the local government to increase the revenues to be derived from the city’s existing lands.
Datuin revealed once the minimum land valuation will be enacted, the local government will be able to generate more than P400 million in added revenues with around P90 million being equitably shared by the city’s 128 barangays, some P180 million will go to the city’s Special Education Fund (SEF) and more than P190 million will remain with the coffers of the city.
Domogan pointed out there is a need for the local legislative body to enact the revenue measures before the end of this year to meet the projected revenues that are part of the proposed increase in the city’s budget; but, if the revenue measures will not be able to be passed by the end of the year, it is best for the city to have a supplemental budget for next year.
If the local legislative body will not be able to pass the 2017 budget before the end of the year, the local government will be operating on a re-enacted budget until such time that the budget will be passed on or before March 31, 2017 pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local government code of the Philippines.
By Dexter A. See