By Ercel Maandig
Cagayan de Oro-The City Council on its budget deliberation on Tuesday already approved the 2024 budget.
The approval got 14 majority votes with 4 on abstentions. The 20th City Council approved in principle City Hall’s 2024 budget amounting to P11.2 billion during the executive budget hearing they held in one of the hotels here .
About P8.3 billion out of the P11.2 billion budget is earmarked for City Hall’s programs and operational expenditures while P2.9 billion is set aside as a loan to fund construction of City Hall’s government center and development of the nearby Eco Park at Upper Dagong, in the city’s biggest village Carmen.
The council convened as a committee of the whole, deliberated and voted on the budget. The 2024 budget will then be scheduled for approval by the council on plenary during their regular afternoon session next Monday.
‘The budget is approved and Monday’s session is but a formality,’ said Councilor Edgar Cabanlas, majority floor leader and chairman of the council’s laws and rules committee which schedules the council’s agenda for their regular sessions.
Acting City Budget Officer Roxanne Ravidas explained during the budget hearing that about P10.36 billion of the 2024 budget will be generated by external and local revenue sources.
‘The crafting of the 2024 budget is guided by the RISE development and governance agenda of the Mayor Uy’s administration,’ Ravidas said.
Of the P11.2 billion budget set for 2024, Ravidas said about P44.36 percent or P4.96 billion will be allocated to bolster the city’s income or revenue generating capacity.
About P3.6 billion out of the P4.96 billion will fund City Hall’s infrastructure programs including the proposed city government center, eco-tourism site (P2.7 billion) and road widening and opening (P370 million).
About P209.5 million will be budgeted for flood mitigation and bank protection structures.
City Hall also set aside P3.397 billion or 30.34 percent of the P11.2 billion budget for social services which will fund the city’s health, nutrition and hospital services.
About P2.83 billion will be allocated for programs on peace and order and public safety, among others.
Ravidas said the P11.2 billion budget for 2024 is P3.4 billion more than the P7.8 billion budget set aside for the city in 2023.
‘But inclusive in that P3.4 billion increase is the P2.7 billion local borrowings we proposed to the City Council. So in effect, our net increase in our operational expenses is P700 million which amounts to an 8.97 percent increase from last year’s budget,’ she said.