Cebu News

City disaster council wants to use funds for garbage fee

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) wants to reprogram some items under its programs in previous years that have accumulated at least P29 million unexpended balances.

The council said the money can be used to pay for the city’s garbage tipping fee pen-ding the City Council’s approval of the P2.8 billion Supplemental Budget-1.

SB-1 would have provided for additional funds for several services including the P87 million for the garbage service fee.

The P101 million from the P51 million annual budget of the city, as well as the additional P50 million from the city’s disaster funds, have already been depleted.

“It is imperative to reprogram the accumulated balances from LDRRM (Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) Trust Fund CY (calendar year) 2011, 2012 and 2013 amounting to P29,911,206.18 to pave the way for the payment of the city’s garbage tipping fee,” reads the resolution the disaster council drafted during its November 9 regular meeting.

The three-page document would show the yearly breakdown of items to be reprogrammed with their corresponding amount from the undisbursed balances.

“Various items listed under the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LDRRMF programs are still ongoing transactions and some programs were already implemented and delivered with appropriations,” reads the resolution.

The council noted that City Accountant Mark Rossel Salomon has certified the exact amount of unexpended balance available in 2011 (P22,500,000); 2012 (P5,929,634.83); and 2013 (P1,481,571.35).

“…therefore, the total accumulated unexpended balances of the LDRRMF for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 is P29,911,206.18, which is intended for reprogramming,” the resolution reads further.

CCDRRMC’s recommendation is supported by a resolution sponsored by Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao seeking the approval of the revised Annual Investment Program whose funds would be sourced from the disaster’s fund for the payment of the city’s garbage tipping fee.

“The CCDRRM Council passed on mass motion recommending of certain items under the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LDRRMF programs with the total amount of P29,911,206.18 so that the same may be allocated for the payment of the city’s garbage tipping fee,” Wenceslao’s resolution reads.

The proposed resolution is now with the Council’s Committee on Budget and Finance chaired by Councilor Margarita Osmeña for review.

Wenceslao explained that the items identified by CCDRRMC are balances in the LDRRM fund which are not obligated to a particular creditor thus these items are available for reprogramming as certified by the City Accounting Office.

He further reinforced his statement by citing a provision under the Joint Memorandum Circular issued on March 25, 2013 by the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council; Department of Budget and Management; and Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“Section 6-5… states that the unexpended balances of the LDRRMF (Fund) may be released and utilized for new expenditure items upon submission of a revised AIP as approved by the local Sanggunian and local chief executive upon recommendation of the LDRRMC (Council) in accordance with the approved LDRRMP (Plan),” he noted.

Wenceslao said there is a need to reprogram the items and “make it attuned to present priority programs and responsive to the need of times such as the garbage problem besetting the city” especially when the funds for tipping fees have already been consumed.

As the amount increased this year, the city government pays P1,500 for garbage service fee, which has an P800 difference compared to last year’s P700 per ton.

The reason – the city government commissioned private haulers to dispose of its garbage in Consolacion town after Inayawan Sanitary Landfill was closed permanently last January 15.  Of the P1,500 fee, P800 is given to the private hauler to pay for manpower, gasoline consumption, and other expenses while the remaining P700 serves as the tipping fee.

To note, Cebu City dumps an average of 300 tons of garbage to Consolacion town every day, including the 100 tons of wastes that is supposedly disposed at the 15-hectare Inayawan garbage facility. — /JMO (FREEMAN)

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