Cebu News

As COVID-19 fund in 2022: Cebu City earmarks just millions

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — While Cebu City spent billions in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is setting aside only over P200 million in 2022.

When the pandemic reached Cebu in 2020, the city government spent over P2.2 billion in related expenses. The bulk of its funds was under supplemental budget 2. Its total appropriation was P2,735, 271,0005.75.

The city government spent a lot for the construction of a quarantine facility, rice and relief goods during the lockdowns, food packs for those being quarantined along with some medical supplies, equipment and even an RT-PCR machine.

The RT-PCR machine went to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. However, Mayor Michael Rama wanted to take it back, saying the machine was not donated by the city government.

In 2021, Cebu City’s COVID-19 expenses were less than half of what was spent in 2020 despite experiencing surges of infection. This time, it only spent P705,059,703.54 out of the P1.077 billion allocation.

In 2022, the city government still set aside some budget for COVID-19, but way lower than the first two years at125,303,105.54 spent so far.

The excess of trust funds and capital outlay were transferred the following year while the excess of the annual budget and supplemental budget charged to the quick response fund was transferred to trust fund the following year and balance for non-quick response fund was closed to surplus account, according to the local finance committee’s report.

Meanwhile, for Typhoon Odette, the city government spent P1,083,316,966.00 .

In 2021, over P600 million was spent mostly for financial assistance, food packs, relief goods, rice, fuel, housing and other materials, rental of heavy equipment, garbage collection, and disaster response and rehabilitation.

This year, an additional P396,950,000.00 was allocated as additional funds for the financial assistance of typhoon victims in the city. -  JMD (FREEMAN)


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