Capitol’s 2021 budget to focus on health, infra
Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Health services and infrastructure will be the major focus of the Cebu provincial government next year based on the P15 billion budget proposed by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

From 12 billion this year, Garcia is seeking a P2.9 billion increase in next year’s budget or a hike of about 25 percent.

The Office of the Governor saw one of the major increases among the line items under the budget, with the proposed allocation for next year of P10.6 billion higher by about a third from the allocation this year.

Garcia said a portion of the proposed fund will be devoted for the upgrading of the provincial-run hospitals.

“Well primarily health services gyud because we have given the assurance that the Universal Health Care Law will really be implemented and with UHC, you really need to upgrade, our provincial as well as district hospitals,” Garcia said during her live press conference yesterday at the Capitol.

The Capitol will also continue with the concreting and developing provincial and barangay roads which have already started since Garcia assumed office in 2019.

“Kay katong first kilometers, tag one kilometer to, gitagaan nato ang tanang lungsod, that was contained in the 2019 supplemental (budget). And karon we are implementing the 2020, sumpay na, kung five kilometers na, na-concreted ang one kilometer, karon gisumpayan as four kilometers, so nagpadayon ang sumpay plus another set pa gyud sa provincial roads nga to pa gyud gisugdan,” Garcia added.

In a news release, the Capitol said it is targeting 400 kilometers of provincial roads and 100 kilometers of barangay roads finished by 2021.

Garcia asked the province’s constituents to be patient with these projects acknowledging that there are more roads that need to be improved in the future.

“At least we are doing something, given all the challenges, nag-pandemic pa ta, naglisod pa atong contractors pag-cross borders pero gipadayon, wala gyud na nato paundanga ug wala ta gyud tay girealign sa 2020 budget intended for in-frastracture, concreting of roads, provincial and barangay,” Garcia said.

The Capitol will also continue to work on upgrading the water systems.

Of the total budget proposed, 41.36% or P6.2 billion is for the social services; P5.8 billion or 39.10% is for the economic services; and 19.54% or P2.9 billion is for the general public services.

“The Province of Cebu’s resources have been systematically rationalized, guided by the 2019 revenue generation, to support transactions and expenditures fo the Province of Cebu that best serve the basic needs of our Sugboanons,” Garcia wrote in her letter to the Sangguaniang Panlalawigan.

More for Gov office

Based on the Summary Appropriations by department or office made by the Capitol for the current year 2020 and budget year 2021, the Office of the Governor is allocated P10.6 billion for next year or 33.37% higher compared to this year’s fund of P7.9 billion.

Provincial and district hospitals are allocated P1.914 billion under Garcia’s proposed budget, compared to P1.990 billion this year.

For the Office of the Vice Governor, a budget of P66.1 million for 2021 is being pushed, an increase of 1.17 percent from P65.3 million this year.

Other budget proposals include the Planning and Development Coordinator, P32.4 million; General Servces Office, P398 million; Social Welfare Office, P233 million; Agriculturist Office, P248 million, an increase of  279. 47% from P65 million this year; PENRO, P26.8 million;  Enginering’s Office, P87.3 million; Veterinarian, P71.8 million; Provincial Health Office, P722 million; Legal Office, P21 million; Information and Communication Technology Office, P16 million; Information Office, P25.9 million; Assessor, P25 million; Treasurer’s Office, P91 million; Accountant, P42 million; Budget Office, P16 million; Administrator, P30 million; and Sanggunaing Panlalawigan, P164 million.

The Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) is set to have P73 million, a decrease of 5.24% from P77 million this year, while the  Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) asked for P37.8 million next year, a decrease also of 22.33% from theP48.6 million in 2020.

The appropriation measure has already passed the first reading and has been referred to the Committee on Budget and Appropriations. The budget hearings are expected to start in November. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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