THE city council has constituted itself as a committee of the whole as it prepares for deliberations on the Mayor Oscar Moreno’s proposed P6.5-billion city hall budget for 2019.
The local legislature on Monday adopted a resolution to grant Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy the blanket authority to designate the presiding officer and to schedule the marathon hearings on the proposed budget.
In the course of the deliberations, all committee meetings would be suspended except in cases involving measures certified as urgent and without prejudice to the submission of documents to committee members for perusal.
The proposed P6.5-billion budget includes the general fund and the special account/operation of the city’s economic enterprises amounting to some P5.880 billion and some P619.459 million, respectively.
In his budget message, Moreno said city hall vision is contextualized by the “Primehat” framework: poverty alleviation, public order and safety; revenue generation; infrastructure and investments; metropolization; education and environmental protection; health, hospital services, and housing and resettlement; agricultural productivity and teamwork, traffic and tourism.
Moreno has proposed a budget for the social services of over P2.1 billion or 33.1-percent of the P6.5 billion.
The sector is grouped into health, nutrition and hospital services with an allocation of P1.16 billion and Social Security, Social Services and Welfare, P989.5 million.
This includes the Philhealth Indigency Program in the amount of P180 million for 75,000 beneficiaries, and the Point of Care program amounting to P30 million. Of the proposed budget, P15.3 million is intended for the operation of the City Health Insurance Office.
For the existing programs of the city health department, P207 million is intended for administrative support services and for hospital services, P500 million.
Meanwhile, the amount of P989 million is provided for the delivery of social services and welfare and other administrative support, which is 46 percent of the total social services allocation.
Moreno said the increase in the proposed 2018 budget is reflective of the desire of his administration to respond to its constituents’ needs especially the delivery of sustained health services, responsive education, adequate housing/resettlement, improved transport system, and rural-urban connectivity through improved road networks, among others.
For economic services, Moreno has proposed P2.69 billion or 41.4 percent of the proposed annual budget.
Some P62.79 million has been set aside for agricultural services, P39.73 million for veterinary services, P67.84 million for environmental and natural resources concerns, P149.61 million for the engineering operations and maintenance, and P99.17 million for city hall’s equipment depot.
The proposed allocation includes city hall’s 20-percent development fund or some P333 million from its internal revenue allotment.
Moreno has proposed P1.26 billion forvarious infrastructure projects, P60 million for land acquisition and P17 million for land development.
The metropolization development, including the development, operation and maintenance of the city’s sanitary landfill, gets P186 million. Some P200 million has been proposed for city hall’s shelter program while P9 million would be for support for projects and programs of non-government agencies under the People Empowerment Projects of the City Poverty Reduction Action Center. (SP)