NAGA CITY --- Health and education programs, as well as urban development projects took the bulk of this city’s total annual budget pegged at P 1.3B this year.
Considered the biggest budget ever appropriated by a city government in Bicol, the approved budget this year is higher by P200M, compared to last year’s P1.14B – which was also last year’s biggest that breached the P1B mark by a local city government unit and placing Naga in the elite list of “billionaire cities” nationwide.
The budget was based on projected increased revenues as the city hall continues to see higher collection of business and real property taxes, as well as hiked income from the city’s local economic enterprises that include the Bicol Central Station (BCS), Market Enterprise and Promotions Office (MEPO), Naga City Hospital (NCH), and the Naga City Abattoir.
The city’s various health institutions, such as the City Health Office (CHO), City Population and Nutrition Office (CPNO), Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary (OLLI), and the Naga City Hospital (NCH), were allotted a total of P155M budget for the upgrading of the city's health facilities and services, including the provision of X-Ray and Laboratory services and other health programs.
More than P100Mwere also allotted for the Special Education Fund for various educational support programs, such as in the purchase of more instructional materials, conduct of seminars and trainings, construction and repairs of school facilities, and holding of various academic competitions.
P16M more were allotted for scholarship for students from the marginalized sector.
To ensure that housing needs of the less privileged families are being met, the city government allotted around P50M to finance urban redevelopment projects and provide better facilities in urban poor settlement sites.
As calamity fund, P62M were allocated for this year.
For the city's waste management initiatives, around P90Mwere allotted for the operation of the sanitary landfill, waste-to-energy facility, and other garbage collection-related requirements. Around P13M were also allotted for the needed Naga River rehabilitation.
Another P11M were allotted for the needed operation of the wastewater treatment facilities at the Naga City Hospital, Naga City Public Market and the Naga City Abattoir; enforcement of anti-smoke belching law; and for the protection of the Mt. Isarog National Park.
The Public Safety Office was allocated with a P 38M budget for better traffic and road management.
Meanwhile, the City Engineer's Office was also allotted with P 45M budget for road projects, particularly the construction of alternate routes to decongest the city’s road choke points and resolve flooding problems, particularly in the low-lying areas of the city.
Various sectors were also appropriated with funds: P8.9M for the senior citizens, P 3.8M for the persons with disabilities, P4M for youth development, and P 21.7M for the children sector.
P50M have also been allocated as standby assistance to the barangays.
As in previous years, the city's budget reflects its lower dependency on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the national government which comprises only 47% of the city’s total annual. The other 53% are to be derived mainly from the city’s locally-generated revenues that speak well of the city’s dynamism and financial independence and viabilityas a highly competitive component city.