BAGUIO CITY – The local government outlined the highlights of the proposed P2.3 billion city annual budget that is geared towards resiliency and recovery from the ongoing Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that that the pandemic may have constrained the full realization of the planned development for the present term but the city was able to prioritize the health and wellness of the residents by accelerating the ongoing COVID-19 responses that saved lives and kept the economic losses manageable.
He said that the city’s COVID-19 experience taught the people many lessons in governance as the local government had to recalibrate existing systems and procedures if only to be more responsive to the requirements of the emerging concerns.
One of the highlights of the proposed budget is the full devolution of certain functions where the affected offices include the health services, social welfare and development, veterinary and agriculture, public employment and services and environment and parks management.
In support of the national government’s prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, re-integration (PDITR) strategy, the city had set aside a total of P75.9 million of which, P24.9 million is from the 5 percent disaster risk reduction and management fund for COVID-19 response preparations, including but not limited to, the continuous procurement of medical supplies and equipment, emergency medical and contact tracing operations, maintenance of isolation and triage facilities and emergency hiring of COVID-19 human resource for health.
As the pilot integration site for universal health care reinforced by the devolution on account of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, the city had allocated funds for the first phase of its implementation piloting 2 health care institutions for accreditation, Irisan health center and Aurora Hill health center, to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation where an amount of P2 million is earmarked for the establishment of the city’s special health fund in addition to funds earmarked for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment.
Further, the disaster risk reduction and management fund will be utilized to cover the 4 thematic areas of disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, disaster rehabilitation and recovery. DRRM and climate change are mainstreamed and integrated in the city’s local development policies, plans and budget as a way of increasing the resiliency of the infrastructure system and towards sustainable development.
In addition to the targeted completion of the youth convergence center and sports complex by 2022, the city had funded major development projects in the different parts of the city which includes among others, the construction of youth and sports development facilities amounting to P56 million, sidewalk recovery – P62 million, and sewer in projects P41.1 million. Priority barangay projects as identified in the annual investment plan amounting to P45 million had likewise been allocated.
The local government is currently undertaking many programs and projects which are sourced outside of the city’s local resources and the same had been made possible through the collective initiatives of city officials. The city appreciated the support of different line agencies and national government offices as well as the private sector for helping the city move us one.
By Dexter A. See