Cebu News

VM Garcia wants budget hearingto focus on expenses

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City acting Mayor Raymond Garcia said budget hearings should proceed even as the issue on the tax increase had not yet been resolved.

Some councilors accordingly want to finish the discussions with the tax revisions first before proceeding with the budget hearing for 2023 this Tuesday.

Garcia, in an interview with reporters yesterday, said the budget hearing should start and focus on the part of the expenses first.

“For the record–para nako, magpadayon gyud gihapon atong public hearing for the annual budget for 2023…but if the councilors would want to forego usa, kaning sa portion on the revenues…diri sa ta sa expenses,” said Garcia.

Expenses are a very important matter to tackle, Garcia emphasized.

“Ari sa ta sa expenses, mao nay important because we are also trying to control the expenses given dagko kaayo ang expenses tungod sa atong pandemic responses, disaster responses…Kinahanglan ma optimize gyud nato or ma maximize gyud nato ang atong mga expenses,” stressed Garcia.

Each department of the city government will have to defend its budget proposal.

“Diha gyud na malangay kay every department has to defend their budget man,” Garcia added.

Garcia said it is important that they look into the expenses as they need to maximize their funds.

Meanwhile, regarding the tax revision, Garcia said he has already spoken to most of the councilors and said they are not against it, but just need to find common ground on what will be the reasonable amount of the tax increase.

“Ako ng na-estorya kasagaran sa mga konsehal ang they are not against the revision of the tax rates, what they are against most of them is the amount of the increase…So, I think, makakita ra mig common ground ani nya...I think everybody, all the councilors agreed that there should be a revision tungod kay 2003 pa gud, implemented in 2006..that’s 20 years…maong everybody agreed of the revision…However, wapa mi maka come up ug common ground, ug pila gyud na nga increase,” said Garcia.

Along with this, should the review next year not be enough to come up with the proposed P50 billion budget for 2023, there are other options that the city government may pursue.

Garcia, in a separate interview with KTV News, said it’s just about a matter of prioritization.

“It is just a proposal…Even if the budget is approved at P50 billion unya ang maabot ug collection is only about P30 billion, then it is now up to the Mayor to prioritize kung unsa nga mga proyekto nga iyang ipauna based sa actual collection…So there is really no harm, mo-propose kag P50 billion, dili nimo makolekta, so what? E-prioritize lang nato ang dapat natong e-prioritize..based on the prioritization of the Mayor,” said Garcia.

The city government can also go into a public-private partnership or loan, although, Garcia said, Rama is not considering the latter at the moment.

“Right now ang direction ni Mayor, wala pa man gyuy utang,” said Garcia. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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