With no amendments and less than five minutes of deliberation, the Cebu Provincial Board passed on third and final reading the P12-billion budget ordinance during their regular session on Monday, December 2.
It is the biggest annual budget Cebu Province will ever have once Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signs it.
“The proposed ordinance of Board Member (Glenn) Soco (sixth district) authorizing the 2020 budget is approved in third and final reading,” presiding officer, vice-governor Hilario Davide III ruled with finality as he tapped on the gavel.
Davide told the members of the local finance committee present during the session, to immediately inform the governor of the approval of the 2020 annual budget.
This budget increased by 155.73 percent compared to the budget for the current year which is P4.69 billion, a difference of P7.3 billion compared to the 2020 budget.
Governor Garcia, in a separate interview, thanked the vice governor and the members of the provincial board present for their approval without amendments and the trust given to her.
“Well, I’d like to thank the vice-governor and the provincial board for approving on third and final reading our historic P12 billion budget for 2020 without any amendments or cuts,” she said.
Twelve members of the Provincial Board were present during the session.
“I am grateful for the trust and confidence that the provincial board has given me, in this speedy approval of our 2020 budget. Rest assured that this budget will be of most benefit to our constituents in the entire province,” Garcia added.
The 11 members of the Cebu Provincial Board present and Presiding Officer, Vice Governor Hilario Davide III with local finance committee member, Provincial Treasurer Atty. Roy Salubre, after the passage of the budget ordinance. (Tonee Despojo)
Garcia said the 2020 budget will be equitably distributed amongst all of the seven districts, 44 towns and seven component cities in the Province of Cebu, that will translate into the betterment of the lives of the Cebuanos whom she is committed to serve.
Garcia submitted the executive budget to the Provincial Board on October 16 after conducting a series of budget calls with the different capitol departments and chiefs of district hospitals.
In her letter to the Provincial Board, Garcia said the sectoral objectives of the P12-billion budget are the following - 33.19 percent for economic services, 52.13 percent for social services, and 14.68 percent for general public services.
Earlier, when the budget was deliberated and passed on second reading during the out-of-town session in Camotes island, Garcia spoke before the board to ask for their support.
She said the ultimate goal of the budget is to uplift the lives of the Cebuanos.
Soco, who chairs the committee on budget and appropriations and sponsored the ordinance, assured that the proposed budget had undergone the necessary procedural and substantial requirement mandated under the laws, rules and regulations.
“The mandatory budget documents, committee hearings, budget deliberations, referral, notices among others were religiously complied with,” he said.
“Under the 2020 budget, the bulk of the appropriations are reserved to infrastructure and development projects, delivering social services which are undeniably this administration’s concern,” he said.
On questions raised regarding the source of fund during the budget deliberation, Provincial Treasurer Atty. Roy Salubre who was present at the PB session, assured that there is funding for the 2020 budget.
“Duna gyud ta ana. We can realize it next year,” he said.
The P12 billion will be sourced from the estimated income of the province which is P700 million; the province’s P3.2 billion cash possession; the estimated Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share from the national government which is P3.8 billion; and the P4.2 billion conservative estimates which will be downloaded from Philhealth.
From the budget, 52.13 percent of it or P6.255 billion would go to social services, such as medical services and social welfare programs, among others. Capitol will upgrade the provincial hospitals in the cities of Bogo, Carcar and Danao, and the other facility in the town of Balamban from a first level status to second level.
The governor also wants to upgrade district hospitals in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes with bed capacities of 25 into a 100-bed capacity.
Another P3.98 billion or 33.19 percent was earmarked for Capitol’s economic services, focusing on infrastructure projects.
The infrastructure projects covered by the proposed budget include concreting works for 250 kilometers of provincial thoroughfares and 100 kilometers of barangay roads, installing level 3 water systems and improving existing infrastructure in the towns and cities in the Province. (with reports from Mylen Manto)