The fantasy of the P7b annual budget

OPINION
By CRIS DIAZ
January 24, 2020

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IT is good to hear that, at the start of the year, the revenue collection of the city government has improved during the renewal of the business permits and payments of realty taxes.

While we see an improvement in the collection, the question still remains. Can the city government really collect or earn as much as P 7 billion this year? The question is inevitable because the reported approved annual budget of the city government for 2020 is P 7 billion.

With nothing concrete that can be felt about the development of the city, the P 7 billion budget becomes questionable. The taxpayers are asking on how the P 7 billion is going to be spent. The lack of transparency at the city hall always feed the people’s suspicions that the budget would only be spent to benefit some public officials. Nobody is saying ‘though that city hall is loaded with corruption.

The report about the development of new hospitals in the city’s east and west districts are not enough to justify that the city is spending P 7 billion a year. Of course, there is the construction of schools here, there, and everywhere. Will the construction of these school buildings cost as much as P 7 billion, too.

Come-on, Sir, the money is not spent only for hospitals and school buildings. There are other projects of the city government like the modern “Golden Home for the Aged” in Upper Puerto and the farm-to-market roads. Isn’t these projects worth P 7 billion? Well, nobody is arguing, but everybody’s asking a question.

Can the city government make public its annual expenses for the last two years – 2018 and 2019? At least, the doubting Thomases would be given a clear and direct information on how the city government spent the taxpayers’ money.

No matter, nobody believes that the city government could collect or earn P 7 billion a year. Unless, the geniuses at the city’s finance committee have studied the secret of magic, a collection of P 7 billion to replenish the city’s expenses is next to impossible. Did the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the city’s annual budget?

Anyway, there are still lots of things to be done. Perhaps, the city government could really collect P 7 billion a year and spent the money in a year’s time? The taxpayers are simply questioning that if the city government collects only a little over than P 300 million for the first quarter of 2020, then the collection of P 7 billion for the year is nothing, but a desperate dream.


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