Naga City’s 2020 Budget Nixes Lakbay Aral Junket

Naga City --- Offices with training expenses “may not utilize the same for “lakbay aral” or benchmark-type expenses but only for training of their clientele /stakeholders or for training of personnel conducted or sponsored by their regulatory or oversight national agencies. This is among the general provisions contained in the 2020 annual budget of Naga City, of about Php. 1.4 B.

Also in the general provisions of the 211-page document are the following features: 1) Consistent with the long-standing policy of the Naga City government for transparency, accountability and people empowerment, and in compliance with the full disclosure policy of the national government this budget and any supplemental budget shall be posted in the official website and on the official bulletin board of the city government; 2) Appropriations for the procurement of foodstuffs and drinks, farm and other agricultural products, handicrafts or native products, school bags, souvenir items, and other supplies and materials, which have locally-produced substitutes of acceptable quality and price, are earmarked to non-government organizations, barangay based enterprises, cooperatives and other workers or farmers associations based in Naga City subject to the rules and regulation of Republic Act No.9184, except when no such organization or other grassroots entity based in Naga City can provide such products, supplies or materials in the quality, quantity, and time desired in which case other modes of procurement shall be resorted to for all , or for a portion of the procurement; 3) Appropriations for environmental and sanitary services and those for projects which can be implemented by semi-skilled or unskilled labor are earmarked to non-government organizations, barangay based enterprises, cooperatives, and other workers or farmers associations based in Naga City subject to the rules and regulations of Republic Act No.9184, except when no such organizations or other grassroots entity based in Naga City can provide such labor in the quality, quantity, and time desired in which case other modes of procurement shall be resorted to for all, or for a portion of the procurement; 4) Procurement of lighting fixtures, electrical devices and office equipment, vehicles, and other motorized equipment or machineries, shall migrate the city towards energy-efficiency, reduced carbon footprint and other substantial reduction in expenditures for electric power and fuel. This bias should be made evident in the Project Procurement Management Plan of each concerned department and offices or autonomous projects; 5) Honorarium or per diem granted to barangay volunteer workers and to members of various local bodies, if any, shall be in accordance with existing rules, and regulations and to rates authorized by ordinance, except if already stipulated in a national issuance; 6) Disbursement and utilization of appropriations shall be in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations which are all deemed read into this ordinance. Public officials and employees who will authorize, allow, or permit, as well as those who are negligent in the performance of their duties and functions which result in the incurrence or payment of unauthorized and unlawful obligation or expenditure, shall be held personally liable; 7) Obligation of appropriations shall only be for programs, projects, and activities approved in the 2020 Annual Investment Program; 8) Aid to component barangay as mandated by Section 324(c) of the Local Government Code shall consist of appropriations for (a) Barangay Support Fund intended to fund small projects in the nature of capital outlays supportive of city government priorities and listed in the barangay’s 2020 Annual Investment Program with a ceiling of P500,000.00 per barangay , (b) Essential Community Services intended to augment the honoraria of barangay personnel including the Lupong Tagapamayapa at rates as indicated herein; and (c) support to the programs and projects of the Liga ng mga Barangay and the Kapisanan ng mga Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad and Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad and Sangguniang Kabataan; 9) The city mayor and the city vice mayor are authorized to augment any item in the approved annual budget for their respective offices from savings in other items within the same office and expense class of their respective appropriations. The city mayor is further authorized to augment any item under Special Purpose Appropriations from savings in other items of the same Special Purpose Appropriations. Excluded from this authority is the account Donation-SP under the City Social Welfare and Development Office which shall not be subject to executive reversion and 10) In anticipation of the implementation of Salary Standardization V, a reserve of 10% of appropriation is herein imposed on the following MOOE accounts to serve as funding source for SSL V: A. Travelling expenses-local; B. Training expenses; C. Office supplies expenses; D. Other supplies and materials; E. Subsidy to NGAs; F. Donations and G. Other Maintenance and Operating Expenses

Once the guidelines and salary schedule are issued, the 10% reserve shall be reverted to personal service of the different departments and offices for purpose of funding SSL V, the document stated.

Priorities

In his letter to Vice Mayor Cecillia V. De Asis dated October 16, 2019, Mayor Nelson Legacion officially declared “Naga Na!” as the slogan for his first term and outlined the following priorities for 2020: 1. Completion of the long delayed Calauag-San Felipe Road on which significant progress has been made the past three months in the negotiation with lot owners and the necessary court actions filed; 2. Revival of the dormant Balatas-NCSHS Road project on which, thru initial exploratory talks with the land owners; 3. Opening of the Almeda-Mabolo Bypass Road to decongest Roxas Avenue and open a new growth corridor on which exploratory negotiations are on- going; 4. Establishment of Peoples Park and a connecting Esplanade where Nagueños can spend quality time with family and friends; 5. Establishment of Decentralized Service Sites in (a) Bgy. Sta Cruz where a new police substation, a new City Health Office II (originally intended along Almeda Highway), a satellite fire station, a satellite market, a new public high school, an evacuation center and green parks will be set up (b) Balatas 1 where the City of Agriculture Office-Urban Agriculture Unit, the public safety and resiliency center, and regional office of the Department of Information and Communications Technology are proposed to be housed; (c) Balatas II where the new Naga City Hospital and its Emergency Medical Service and another new public high school will rise and (d) Brgy. Calauag along the Calauag – San Felipe Road where another national high school and police substation will initially be set up; 6. Acquisition of resettlement sites for urban poor families with site identification and preliminary negotiation with land owners on-going in Brgy’s Pacol, Cararayan, Concepcion Pequeña, Mabolo, among others; 7. Construction and operation of a 5,000-seat convention center to position the city for national conventions, exhibits, and trade fairs with a 3-hectares site; 8. Establishment of an ecopark in Mt. Isarog as additional amenity to visitors of Malabsay falls and mountaineers and explorers of tropical forest with the Department of Tourism already expressing keen interest in supporting the project; 9. Opening of national high school in Brgy. San Isidro, another high school in Brgy. Panicuason, and new elementary school in Brgy. Carolina to ease the kilometers-long trek of elementary school children in agricultural hinterlands given the distance of existing elementary and public high schools from their homes; 10. Establishment of a new public cemetery in Brgy. Balatas or neighboring Cararayan, with identification of land owners on going; 11. Rehabilitation of the Naga City Public Market although the final configuration of the project is awaiting technical recommendations; and 12. Redevelopment of key public spaces in the urban core one of which, the improvement of Plaza Rizal with installation of a dancing fountain, which is already undergoing procurement process.