BONTOC, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Francis O. Tauli approved the province’s 2017 budget amounting to P722,696,149 and the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) listing the province’s priority projects.
The vice governor announced during the last flag raising ceremony that they have already submitted the budget ordinance to the regional office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for review.
The approved budget is higher by 15 percent than this year’s annual budget pegged at P610, 343,636.
Based on the Appropriation Ordinance No. 2016-42 dated November 8, 2016, the income component is broken down as follows: personal services – P354, 542,605; maintenance and operating expenditures – P186, 870,880; capital outlay which include development and reserved fund– P181, 282,665.
Of the total budget, P 653,299,085 will come from external source particularly from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). Only P 69,397,064 will be generated from local sources such as taxes, and regulatory fees and charges. The province’s IRA dependence still high due to the low tax base according to Provincial Treasurer Cawed A. Gamonnac.
The projected income for FY 2017 is allocated and programmed for the provincial government’s 29 departments, four hospitals, various developmental projects, disaster risk reduction management office, and the many operating units of the social, health, education and environmental services department including the funding of provincial special bodies, and subsidies/aids to barangays and peoples’ organizations.
Among the notable development projects identified under the AIP are the construction of parking space at the provincial plaza to help minimize traffic congestion around the capital town and the restoration of the demolished part of the provincial capitol.
Lumpsum appropriations for the implementation of the second tranche salary adjustment and the 14th month pay of provincial employees have been also included in the annual budget.
Based on the budget message of the provincial governor, fiscal policies is anchored in the good financial housekeeping component of the seal of good local governance of the Department of Interior and Local Government by adopting the bottom-up budgeting in the allocation of resources to address poverty issues.
According to one of the fiscal planners, they considered the civil organizations in the process of local governance to ensure that the needs of the community, especially at the barangay level, are addressed in this budget proposal.
Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr., in one occasion, said that the delivery of quality service to the public will not be sacrificed despite the meager resources and the austerity measures adopted by the provincial government.
By Alfredo F. Macalling