City to get P340M from national government
The city will be getting some P340 million national tax allotment (NTA) from the national government following the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling of the Supreme Court (SC).
City Budget officer Leticia O. Clemente disclosed that this amount is part of the current P2.3 billion annual budget of the city government to fund the city’s priorities, including the devolved functions of the national offices such as the Department of Health (DOH) in line with the universal health care, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on supplemental feeding program, day care, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), the Department of Agriculture on its dispersal program and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on its employment generation and database.
She pointed out that the initial implementation of the devolution by the national offices will add up to the responsibilities of the concerned departments of the city government which at the moment have their hands full with their current functions and operations.
Clemente stated that one of the significant accomplishments of the city government is the prompt preparation and approval of the devolution transition plan for both the city and the barangays where the budget and planning departments played a key role in facilitating the entire process.
The city budget officer revealed that the city was the first local government to submit its devolution transition plan among the local governments in the Cordillera.
According to her, Baguio City was also the first local government in the region to submit its approved annual budget amounting to P2.3 billion to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regional office for review pursuant to the established laws, rules and regulations governing the budgeting process.
On December 13, 2021, the city council approved the P2.3 billion annual budget of the city government and the Appropriation Ordinance was subsequently transmitted to the Cordillera office of the DBM for review on December 20, 2021.
Clemente stipulated that the passage of the city’s annual budget way ahead of time is a clear manifestation that Baguio is one of the few local government units where the executive and legislative departments cooperate to achieve the city’s common good.
She emphasized that the early passage of the annual budget allows officers and implementers the timely implementation of programs, activities and projects for the current year.
Even with the upcoming elections, Clemente revealed that all the departments are wanting to have more funds, but they just have to work within budgetary ceilings.
Clemente emphasized that the city’s finance officers are elated that the city government did not incur any overdraft in the face of unprogrammed costs to address the prevailing health crisis and the same is attributed to prudent fiscal management. – Dexter A. See