Finance group assures source for P10B budget
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - November 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — After being suspended on Thursday and being postponed on Friday, the budget hearing for Cebu City’s Annual Budget 2020 proposed by Mayor Edgardo Labella amounting to P10.4 billion has resumed yesterday.

The local finance committee, which comprises Special Assistant to the Mayor Joey Daluz, Acting City Treasurer Arlene Rentuza, OIC Treasurer Jerone Castillo, City Administrator Floro Casas, Budget Officer Marietta Gumia, City Planning and Development Office Head Joel Reston, and City Accounting Officer Jerome Ornopia, was the first to present.

Castillo discussed the sources of funds for the annual budget for next year.

There are three sources of funds for the annual budget which include the internal sources covering the tax revenues and non-tax revenues; external sources covering the internal revenue allotment (IRA) and share from ECOZONE; and other income covering the South Road Properties sale.

Bulk of the sources of funds will come from the tax revenues under the internal sources amounting to P4.2 billion- P2.2 billion coming from tax on business, P1.5 billion coming from real property tax, and P500 million coming from other taxes. Meanwhile, P2 billion will come from non-tax revenues which are also under the internal sources.

For the external sources of funds, P2.2 billion will come from IRA and P275 million will come from the share from ECOZONE.

The other P1.5 billion will come from the SRP sale.

Meanwhile, Rentuza, who was appointed by the Bureau of Local Government Finance as the Acting City Treasurer from December 10, 2018 to December 10, 2019, explained why she signed the annual budget with reservation.

She said it was for four reasons: she was never invited to any local finance committee meeting, she does not know how the figures in the budget were determined, she is unsure if the SRP sale could be included as one of the sources of funds; and she said there is still a pending case about the SRP lot sale.

Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, Committee on Budget and Finance chairman, however, said Rentuza’s “with reservation” remark on the annual budget does not have a negative impact on its approval before the council. He said it is the local finance committee that signed the annual budget, not Rentuza alone.

Rentuza said that it is up to the regulatory body to determine if her remark is valid or invalid.

When asked if she has an idea on who will be the City Treasurer once her appointment ends on December 10, Rentuza said it is Mayor Edgardo Labella’s prerogative as the appointing officer to announce the new City Treasurer. (FREEMAN)

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