Giving more importance to social and health services, the Cebu City Council on midweek unanimously approved the proposed P8.1-billion budget for 2019.
Of the total amount, the council allocated P1.381 billion for social services to be used for financial assistance to senior citizens, barangay projects, scholarship program and assistance to persons with disability.
Under the same budget are funds for Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, village watchmen, peace and order personnel and for teachers’ assistance program.
The city’s health flagship projects, the Long Life Medical Assistance and the City Hospitalization Assistance and Medicine programs, were given P213 million and P166 million respectively.
LLMAP for this year has 45,000 beneficiaries while CHAMP has more than 16,000 patients as of October this year.
For education-related programs, the city executive department has allotted P232 million for the procurement of 40 buses to ferry college students from the mountain barangays.
The amount will be used for the salary of the bus drivers, fuel and oil, dormitory expenses and meal allowance of students from mountain barangays.
Budget and finance committee chairman Councilor Margarita Osmena said they approved the budget after thorough evaluation.
They also ensured that all budgetary requirements under the Local Government Code and other laws are strictly followed.
Opposition Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera expressed her appreciation for the procurement of buses that would transport students from the mountain barangays.
Also, P265.86 million was allotted for garbage collection and disposal and P232.5 million for heavy equipment.
For the mandatory expenditures, the city has P2.1 billion for personnel services; P346 million for the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, and P448.9 million for debt servicing.
The city will procure 21 compactor trucks with P232-million budget.
Presently, the city is spending P133.67 million for the rental of garbage trucks and P286.8 million was earmarked for hauling of garbage.