LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The annual budget of the municipal government next year dropped to only P484 million compared to the more than P500 million budget of the municipality for this year.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that the slight reduction on the proposed annual budget of the municipality next year is because of the expected reduction on the projected business tax collection of the municipal government from businesses operating in the municipality primarily due to the impact of the implementation of the prevailing community quarantine.
He pointed out that the local government cannot afford to have a budget deficit in its annual budget that is why appropriate computations and projections were done by the members of the local finance committee to ensure that the town’s annual budget next year will be sufficient to sustain its operations while recovery from the pandemic is still underway.
“We have to accept that our businessmen were not able to maximize their income-generating potentials this year because of the strict implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown and the other forms of community quarantine that is why we had to make the appropriate adjustments in our proposed budget next year so that we will not be experiencing any deficit,” Mayor Salda stressed.
The municipal chief appealed to officials and employees of the local government that appropriate belt tightening measures will have to be put in place to ensure that only those important programs, projects and activities will be funded and implemented under the proposed 2021 municipal budget.
La Trinidad is one of the few local governments in the Cordillera that generates substantial income from the operation of various businesses in the different parts of the municipality.
According to him, the programs, projects and activities that will be funded passed through stringent deliberations by the concerned offices so that the same will not only be focused on the fight against the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) but also for other recovery initiatives that will help in bringing back the vibrance of the local economy after it was heavily battered by the impact of the community quarantine.
Salda asserted the revival of the local economy must start so that residents can get back their jobs and sources of livelihood for their sustenance because the resources of the people built through the years are now being drawn for survival purposes.
He agreed that prolonging the re-start of the economy will definitely cause serious mental health problems for the residents of the 16 barangays and everyone is now clamoring for the easing up of the prevailing community quarantine guidelines for businesses to be able to slightly recover from the ongoing pandemic.
Salda expressed optimism that the municipal council will pass the budget the soonest so that it will be enacted before the end of the year to avoid the local government operating on a reenacted budget. By HENT