Cebu News

Capitol’s P20 billion annual budget OK’d

Le Phyllis F. Antojado-Orillaneda - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu Provincial Board has approved on third and final reading the historic P20 billion proposed annual budget of the province for fiscal year 2023 without any alteration.

Board Member Glenn Anthony Soco, chairman of the committee on budget and appropriations, said the budget ordinance was scheduled for second reading yesterday but they agreed to expedite the process by subsequently approving next year’s appropriation ordinance for third and final reading.

“The Board did not find any more reason to prolong its approval. Now, we can focus on other important items to take care of,” Soco said.

According to Soco, “the proposed budget for 2023 is supported by all necessary and required local budget preparation forms and documents substantiating the functions, programs, projects, activities, and other expenditures viz-a-viz their projected fund sources from regular sources and collections, and from extraordinary sources.”

He said the budget also gives emphasis to continuity of several programs like the Sugbo Kahanas, Sugbo Negosyo, Sugbusog, Enhanced Countryside Development (EDC) program among others.

 “Careful examination of the budget package reveals that the Provincial Government targets to sustains the gains it has significantly earned despite all serious challenges of the past years, coupled with an aim to provide the necessary stimulus for economic and financial recovery,” Soco said.

Bulk of the more than P20 billion annual appropriations for 2023 was earmarked for the provincial government’s annual investment plan amounting to P10 billion.

 This includes P3 billion for the improvement and rehabilitation of roads and bridges, including the street lighting; P3 billion for the Water System Development program; and P3 billion for the construction and improvement of the province’s hospital and health facilities, as well as for its COVID-19 pandemic response and sanitation program.

The Capitol also appropriated P357 million for the construction and improvement of buildings and other structures; P100 million for the construction of a drainage system; P50 million for the development and restoration of cultural heritage buildings, park, museums and other community sites; and P50 million for the acquisition of vehicles like ambulances for emergency response, among others.

A P300 million was also set aside for the reclamation and site development of airports and seaports; P123 million for agricultural, veterinary, and environmental facilities; and P20 million for socio-economic facilities.

A total of P8.7 billion was also earmarked for social services while another P2.1 billion was set aside for the general public services. The provincial government’s budget next year is higher by more than 10 percent compared to this year’s P18.3 billion annual budget. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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