News and UpdatesIn the NewsCouncil approves City budget

Council approves City budget

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The one-and-a-half month impasse over the Annual Investment Plan and the 2024 budget of the City of Dumaguete came to an end Tuesday with the City Council adopting a full-Council Resolution of the City Development Council for a P1.2 billion AIP, followed by the approval of the  P1.2 billion budget for the City the day after.

The approval of the AIP was greeted with applause by the audience at the City Council, and was most welcomed by City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who was celebrating his 63rd birthday that Tuesday.

“It’s one of the best gifts you can get on your birthday,” the Mayor said after the members of the City Council greeted him at his office to announce the news of the AIP’s approval.

The Mayor said that despite what happened in 2023, which was marked by stiff opposition from the City Council majority, “All’s well that ends well. We can say it’s a blessing in a sense that the people were educated on the process of the passage of the AIP and the budget.”

The City Council had been insistent on getting the Mayor to convene the full body of the CDC to consider some recommendations they had made to be included in the budget.

Among the items the Council wanted placed in the budget were the allocation of P20 million to purchase land for employee housing, P15 million for the housing project for victims of Tropical Storm Sendong, and P15 million for the purchase of heavy equipment for the City Engineer’s Office.

The Mayor had written the City Council to assure them that their recommendations would be funded through a supplemental budget, provided the AIP was approved.

Mayor Remollo requested for Council approval for a supplemental budget amounting to P238 million, which substantially increased the budget requested by the City Council.

Instead of P20 million for the purchase of land for employee housing and P15 million for the storm victims, Remollo allotted P100 million.

The budget for the purchase of heavy equipment for the City Engineer’s Office was also increased from the Council’s request of P15 million to P84 million.

The Mayor’s supplemental budget request also included the amount of P54 million to install wave deflectors, and to replace the broken pavers at the Rizal boulevard.

Councilor Jovencio Tan, president of the Association of Barangay Councils, said that the move was a win for the people of Dumaguete.

“In the past two weeks, we have seen what democracy is all about. It may not have been the 1+2=3 equation as what most members wanted but still, 1+1+1=3 results in the same goal achieved.”

He also lauded the efforts of Councilor Tincho Perdices in defending the budget, and Councilor JV Imbo for thinking of the win-win solution to have the City Development Council pass a full-Council Resolution by referendum, instead of having a full- Council meeting, that paved the way for the approval of the AIP in the City Council. (AP)

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Photo Caption: Vice Mayor Maisa Sagarbarria presents a birthday cake to Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo after the City Council on Tuesday moved to approve the Annual Investment Plan of Dumaguete, paving the way for the approval of the City budget — a move that the Mayor said was the “best birthday gift ever!” (Photo by Neil Rio)

 

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