TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Provincial Development Council (PDC) of Cagayan convened on Monday, October 16, to finalize the proposed 2018 Annual Investment Plan (AIP) and Annual Budget amounting to P3, 433,509,169.25.
PDC Chair Governor Manuel Mamba and Provincial Planning and Development Officer Elisa Umoso presented the budget to mayors and other PDC members in an attempt to pass the AIP and budget to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Tuesday, October 17.
In the budget, P2.14 billion is allotted for programs, projects, and activities (PPA) under the AIP.
Mamba said the bulk of the budget, around P204 million, will be allotted to medical and health services especially for provincial hospital personnel services.
Mayors in attendance also suggested to the governor the upgrading of facilities of district hospitals to “effectively cater the poor.”
Mamba told mayors that he wants hospitals to “take care of their own PhilHealth income.” “Hindi namin papakialaman [yan] except for the preparation of the budget dahil yung PS [personnel services] nila [ay] galing sa atin yun. Yung MOOE and capital outlay will come from their Philhealth income,” he explained.
Aside from health and medical services, social welfare programs and assistance for 4Ps beneficiaries and senior citizens will also take a portion of the budget said Mamba. The AIP currently allots P48 million for this.
The 2018 AIP and budget will also fund infrastructure projects and road concreting. P575 million is allotted to concrete 57.5 kilometers of provincial roads, said Mamba.
One million per barangay
Meanwhile, Governor Mamba said that all barangays in the province are to get P1 million if both the 2017 and 2018 budgets will be approved and implemented.
This comes after the Mamba administration’s Provincial Development Program (PDIP) allotted a yearly development assistance of P500,000 for barangays.
Tuao, however, will get an additional P200,000 for a total of P700,000 because Mamba said they were “not given” development assistance in 2016.
Local government units were also promised P3 million each for local development assistance.
“Walang pulitika ito. Lahat mabibigyan. Yung pulitika, sa eleksyon na lang. But for this one, lahat mabibigyan. Pare-pareho muna,” said Mamba in the PDC meeting.
The governor warned that barangays who cannot liquidate may have their funds implemented by the LGU or the province.” Andaming magagawa ng perang ito, mabantayan lang ng husto,” said Mamba.
This financial assistance raised concerns from the provincial board, saying that some barangays do not reach an annual expenditure of P500,000. The board also questioned the inclusion of educational assistance in the barangay assistance, saying that this seemingly ignores an already existing ordinance covering scholarship.
Under the 2018 budget, three additional bridges are slated to be funded at P49 million. P30 million will be allotted for road maintenance.
The 2018 budget will also cover the improvement of Rizal Park and the renovation of the old provincial jail into a museum, the illumination and improvement of the capitol grounds and main building.
Around P373 million is also allotted for buildings, multi-purpose buildings, establishments, farms and resorts. This includes the proposed P90 million four-storey capitol building in Bangag, Lal-lo; and Quick Response Team headquarters.
Meanwhile, the 2017 budget, if approved by the board, will be simultaneously implemented with the 2018 budget, should it too be approved. “We’re hoping na i-approve nila kaagad… “Ito well studied ito,” said Mamba.
“I do not know kung papaano yun. Nasa kanila na nila yun. That’s there call… and hopefully makita nila what we’re trying to do for the province,” added the governor. Northernforum.net