City plans additional P225M spending before yearend

The City Council approves supplemental budget amounting to P225.5 million for the city government’s various programs and projects.

The City Council’s appropriations committee approved Wednesday, November 8, the 2017 supplemental budget amounting to P225.5 million for the city government’s various programs and projects.

City Treasurer Ma. Corazon Abayari said the supplemental budget is the city government’s savings from the past few years’ unspent excess funds from completed projects and the likes.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) special account has saved P50 million, which accumulated since its management had no supplemental budget request in the previous years.

 “In the park fee collection, the management hit and exceeded its target in the past years; so the excess goes to its savings,” Abayari told the committee.

Meanwhile, the city government has P40 million from the 20% Development Fund savings from 2012 to 2016. This is from the completed road and other infrastructure projects which received budget way beyond their actual costs.

 “For example, the road project got a P10 million budget, but only P8 million had been spent, then the excess goes back to our savings,” City Budget’s Ma. Victoria Borja said.

Abayari said the same is true for the P21.1 million from the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund savings from completed projects last 2014 to 2016.

Appropriations committee chairman, Councilor Jonjie Rodriguez, said the city government has realigned the 2017 budget appropriation for two city road projects, which have also been funded and currently being constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

These are the concreting of Caramuran Road II in Barangay San Jose and the opening of City Collector Road in Barangay Tiniguiban. The two respectively received a budget appropriation of P22.6 million and P4.5 million, all converted as savings.

On one hand, the city government has an unspent P87.2 million in the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Trust Fund in 2011, which will be reverted to the General Fund pursuant to Commission on Audit’s Circular Order No. 2012-002 and Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2013-1.

 “The process is that the Calamity Fund unspent after five years will be reverted to the General Fund and be re-appropriated for other social services projects,” Rodriguez said.

The City Council approved Monday, Nov. 6, the P395.7 million 2017 Supplemental Annual Investment Program, a document containing list of projects considered for funding.

However, not all in the supplemental AIP got funding as the committee trimmed the list to fit with the available P225.5 million supplemental budget, Rodriguez said.

 “We’ve selected projects which need urgent funding,” Rodriguez said.

Excluded in the final list for funding was the proposed P60-million development of school site and construction of school buildings in Barangay San Pedro, as well as the proposed P40 million for the purchase of City Engineering’s construction equipment and tools.

The budget for flood control projects, meanwhile, was reduced from P50 million to P14.3 million. Also trimmed down was the budget for the installation of streetlights from P100 million to P73.6 million.

Development projects that receive funding under the supplemental budget are the purchase of land for airport to Malvar St. access road, P20 million; purchase of land for northern barangays public cemetery, P10 million; construction of youth rehabilitation center for children (boys) in conflict with the law, P5.5 million, and completion of Mendoza Park redevelopment, P8.7 million.

Also included in the infra projects are the construction of two public comfort stations at City Baywalk, P6 million; one at Mendoza Park, P3 million; and another one at Honda Bay, P4 million.

On one hand, P6.8 million are allotted for the purchase of heavy equipment for use in disaster response, rescue and rehabilitation.

Under the other social services programs and projects, P12 million are given to public welfare assistance program. The solid waste management program got P10 million for the purchase of additional garbage bins, while the rehabilitation of the Old City Hall’s 3rd floor for city judge courts receives P1.5 million.

Of the P50-million savings of PPUR, P8.98 million and P41 million go to its maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay, respectively.

The 2017 supplemental budget will be presented to the City Council for approval on Monday, Nov. 13.

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