BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The proposed annual budget here has gone back to pre-pandemic levels, up by 25 percent compared to last year’s P2.6 billion as a result of a High Tribunal ruling that adjusted national tax allotment shares for local governments.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, in his budget message to the Sangguniang Panlungsod, said the P3.25 billion budget was prepared with the “goal of addressing the foremost needs of our citizenry” and on top of which is the “continued fight against the COVID19 pandemic.”
The budget is expected to pass the City Council’s third and final reading tomorrow, 3 November 2021, after hurdling the previous two procedural hearings.
The budget once passed is expected to translate to a per capita provision of P5,259.89 for every Bacolod resident. This was based by Leonardia on the 2022 projected growth rate of around 618,000.
Leonardia said the “primary policies” they considered and intended to address through the proposed budget are improved delivery of basic services, quicker social growth and development, continued introduction of favorable economic stimuli, and efficient and effective local governance.
The breakdown by source showed 66 percent of the budget coming from the National Tax Allocation shares that reached P2.15 billion while 34 percent was from local sources that reached P1.04 billion.
The increase in NTA shares is a result of the Supreme Court ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case which, in effect, adjusted NTA shares for local governments.