The Baguio City Council, last December 19, approved the Local Expenditure Program (LEP) of the City Government of Baguio for Calendar Year (CY) 2023 in the amount of P2,423,781,609. The said amount is 4.93% or P114 million higher than the appropriated amount for CY 2022 which was P2.309 billion. Local and external sources of the P2.42 billion CY 2023 budget are as follows: P110
million estimated beginning balance considered as savings for this year; P552,100,000 estimated tax revenue for this year; P391,687,000 estimated as non-tax revenue for this year; P1,166,994,609 share from the National Tax Allotment (NTA); P200 million share from economic zones; and P3 million share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

These amounts have been certified by the Local Finance Committee. Compared with the CY 2022
NTA, there is a decrease of P197 million or 14% in the CY 2023 NTA due to the low revenue of the national government for CY 2020 brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of the decrease in the NTA have been mitigated by the P110 million beginning balance, according to the City Mayor’s Office (CMO).

The P2.42 billion has been allocated to the following: CMO (130.24 million); Sangguniang Panlungsod (114.3 million); City Accounting Office (26.97 million); City Administrator’s Office (62.21 million); City Assessor ’s Office (29.67 million); City Budget Office (21.12 million); City Buildings and Architecture Office (84.3 million); City Civil Registry Office (18.69 million); City
Engineering Office (170.23 million)City Environment and Parks Management Office (101.67 million); City General Services Office (402.54 million);

City Health Services Office (283.65 million); City Human Resource Management Office (33.03 million); City Legal Office (21.6 million); City Library (12.43 million); City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (18.75 million); Early Warning and Surveillance System (23.87 million); City Planning and Development Office (29.68 million); City Social Welfare and Development Office (123.19 million); City Treasury Office (93.96 million);

City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (58.71 million); Commission on Audit (1.81 million); Bureau of Fire Protection (7.61 million); Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Female Dorm (2.55 million); BJMP Male Dorm (7.37 million); Municipal Trial Court (2.31 million); Baguio City Police Office (39.59 million); City Prosecutor ’s Office (4.98 million); Regional Trial Court (5.3 million); Department of Education (31.14 million); Non-office (102.74 million); Development Fund (238.39 million); and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund (115.69 million).
The CMO listed three highlights of the CY 2023 appropriations.

The first one was the second year of implementation of the devolution transition amounting to
P127 million pursuant to the Mandanas-Garcia ruling. This amount shall be used to carry out the
devolved functions of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), City Social Welfare and Development
Office (CSWDO), City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO), and the Public Employment and
Services Office of the City Mayor’s Office (CMO-PESO). The CMO also highlighted the smart city operations including research and innovation worth P65 million.

Lastly, the office mentioned particular infrastructure projects aimed at promoting sustainable
development. These were road recovery and right-of-way projects (P60 million); construction of a
centralized materials recovery facility (P30 million); construction of a retirement home (P10 million); construction of youth and sports development facilities (P16 million); sewer line projects (P29 million); tourism, eco-park, and agri-tourism projects (P27 million); flood control projects (P20 million); and other priority barangay development projects (P45 million).

In its letter to the city council requesting for the approval of the proposed 2023 budget, the CMO
acknowledged that many proposed programs, projects, and activities were not accommodated due to budgetary constraints but promised to explore ways within the legal framework of the Local Government Code to forge partnerships with the private sector in order to fund the other priority developments projects.

The Local Finance Committee explained that other priority projects indicated in the CY 2023
Annual Investment Program (AIP) but not accommodated by the CY 2023 budget may be funded
through supplemental budgets and through other external sources in the future.
The city council also approved the CY 2023 Annual Investment Program (AIP) containing the
city’s estimated expenditure in the amount of P11,019,131,000, a far cry from the actual P2.42-billion CY 2023 budget.

Magalong recognized that the AIP has to be “aligned” with the actual budget. However, he
explained that all projects identified to be priorities must be included in the AIP “because there are
situations wherein, suddenly, we have foundations that are willing to fund them.” “Mabuti nang nakalagay ‘yung projects sa AIP, otherwise, kapag andiyan na ‘yung pondo, baka mahirapan na tayong isingit because it requires again another set of process,” Magalong asserted. Meanwhile, Councilor Michael Lawana emphasized the need to craft a Long Term Development and Investment Plan which covers a longer period of time so that priority projects will not come back every year for approval when unimplemented.

SP/Jordan G. Habbiling

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