Mayor Evelio Leonardia, is set to submit to the City Council the proposed annual budget of PHP3 billion for 2020.
“This budget proposal manifests our main purpose, which is to lay a resilient foundation for an even greater and more progressive city,” the mayor said in a press conference.
Leonardia called next year’s proposed budget a “breakthrough” as Bacolod has finally breached the PHP3-billion mark, and for the first time, more than half of the budget or 52 percent is sourced from local funds.
“This means, we have broken our very long dependency on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). That shows that our local income had accelerated at a very fast pace, which is an indicator that the economic machinery in Bacolod is moving very fast. We are not just accelerating, we are surging,” he added.
In the proposed budget for 2020, only 48 percent will be sourced from the city’s IRA share.
Moreover, next year’s budget is higher by 19 percent compared to last year’s PHP2.52 billion, one of the highest increases in the city’s budget history.
“Continuous partnership with the City Council, the various city government offices, and the constituents has allowed our budget to reach new heights,” the mayor said.
Leonardia noted that for 2020, his administration’s major thrusts include better traffic management, more aggressive tourism promotions, infrastructure development, and improved administrative efficiency.
Ma. Imelda Williams, city budget officer, said the higher local income can be attributed to the increasing real property taxes and business permit registrations.
As of the second week of October, the city has about 25,000 registered businesses.
Leonardia said this indicates that his administration has created a climate that is “very conducive, very healthy, very fertile” for business to grow.
“That is validated by the increase in our local income,” he added.
Bacolod hit the PHP1-billion annual budget mark in 2008 and nine years later, or in 2017, the city’s budget reached PHP2 billion. (PNA)