Cebu News

Palarong Pambansa 2024: Garcia eyes budget cut

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Although the review he ordered is yet to conclude, Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Garcia yesterday said there is a possibility that the budget for the Palarong Pambansa this July will be slashed.

He told a press conference that while the three-day suspension of the procurement order activities for the Palarong Pambansa hosting has ended, he is yet to decide on the overall fate of the budget.

“I’m almost done. Nakuha na nako ang lista ug unsay mga expenses that is included in the budget. So, ato na nang gitan-aw karon…. Kung ato bang pagamyan or padayon ba ni, it’s a matter of prioritizing now,” he said,

He however said he will come up with a conclusion on the matter, including the specifications of each, on Monday, May 27, 2024. It would also be known on that day if the overall budget would be slashed or not.

What is sure, though, is that the P405 million and the Supplemental Budget 1 which is at P205 million, will be changed.

“Naay either di ma approve, or mapagamyan,” he said referring to the current Palaro budget.

Among those he cited as an example is the rental of portalets and portabaths whose budget is around P18 million. According to Garcia, there is a possibility that the number of portalets will be reduced.

Garcia also said that he will have to take into consideration that the schools where these portalets will be installed have their own comfort rooms. He said there is still time until the Palaro to instead improve the comfort rooms of the schools.

“This is an opportunity nga magpalaro ta so that we can improve all the facilities in the school and magamit pa nimo sa long term inig alik sa klase,” he said.

“So big possibility na nga ma slash (budget),” he added.

Eearlier, City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros, chairman of the City Council committee on sports, denied any “kickback” could be had from the procurements for the Palaro budget, as he agreed with Acting Mayor Garcia to temporarily suspend the procurement orders for three days to review the list.

A day after the procurement suspension order was signed and announced by Garcia, Hontiveros clarified concerns on the procurements.

Among those Hontiveros has explained is the P21-million budget appropriation for the portalet rentals.

Yesterday, however, Garcia questioned why does the portalets have to be rented out when the city government could have procured ones that will be used for future sports events in the city.

Hontiveros said they benchmarked these costs in Marikina, where the last Palarong Pambansa was held.

According to him, the cost covers the rental of 478 portalets with portashowers for 17 days, this package also includes the installation, cleaning, for the said days.

He also clarified that the budget appropriation for the rental is not P21 million but just P18 million. — /RHM (FREEMAN)

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