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Cebu News

From P11M: Independence Day budget now P3M

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The ?11-million proposed budget for the celebration of Independence Day has been slashed to ?3 million according to Cebu City acting mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.

In a press conference yesterday, Garcia said he was able to receive an original budget proposal for the celebration at ?11 million.

“I am happy to announce that I trimmed it down to ?3 million,” said Garcia.

He further said that the final budget is way less than the cost that was utilized last year which is at ?6 million. Garcia said it will no longer be a month-long Independence Day celebration but rather just a week-long activity that will focus on June 12.

He said it is important that the costs were trimmed down to a lesser sum to prioritize the city’s projects and programs, like the Cebu City Medical Center.

“So wherever we can save, so we can use it into better use we will definitely do, bahala na og gamay basta kanunay,” said Garcia.

Among the items Garcia slashed from the ?11 million original proposed budget was the “Barangayan” event which is considered one of the biggest items on the list. The said event is supposed to have a Sinulog sa Barangay with six contingents.

“I trimmed it down not because I do not want it, but because number 1 they didn’t have time and number two it was not so much relevant to the Independence Day celebration,” said Garcia.

Garcia also did away with the testimonial dinner which was previously held at Nustar. He also removed the Santacruzan which to him is no longer that relevant to the celebration.

But Garcia said that despite the budget slash, the celebration will still have the same impact which includes a Flag Day, the usual marching on June 12, and a Kalayaan Concert for the youth.

It was reported last June 9, 2023, that after being heavily criticized for its lavish Independence Day budget, the Cebu City government decided to cut down by half what used to be a ?10.6-million approved allocation for the activities.

Then Cebu City Administrator Collin Rosell, who is now on a six-month preventive suspension, said that Mayor Michael Rama took some measures to minimize the expenses and decided to approve just ?5 million to be used for the different activities on that day.

Before the slashing of the budget, some people criticized the first approved budget of around ?10.6 million for the Independence Day activities.

Among the vocal critics was Councilor Nestor Archival, who said that Independence Day can still be celebrated meaningfully with a lower budget. — (FREEMAN)

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INDEPENDENCE DAY

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