DAGUPAN CITY –Mayor Belen T. Fernandez has requested various departments to slash a portion of their budget as the city’s last resort to cover up the estimated P30 million budget shortfall in the city’s 2013 budget.
Fernandez, however, was quick to assure everyone that the city’s services will not be affected by the cost-cutting measures till the end of the year as she expressed confidence that by next year and in the succeeding years of her term, the city “will not suffer the same miseries ever again.”
City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara in her report last October 1 during the executive session, said the city’s realizable income until the end of the year would only be P582 million and not the P612 million as projected by the past local finance committee headed by former City Administrator Vladimir T. Mata as the city’s budget for 2013.
This leads to the projected P30 million budget shortfall.
City Budget Officer Luz De Guzman, who has been tasked by Fernandez to resolve and avoid the shortfall and the deficit, has recommended slashing the budgets of various departments amounting to P3,507,600, the non-office account of P500,050, and the five per cent calamity fund of P1.5 million.
She also reported that P8,376,640 will be sourced out from other sources and another P16,065,760 from other possible sources to complete the needed P30 million budget shortfall.
“The other possible sources are the cancelled expenditures by the past administration including the termination of financial assistance grant, and the withdrawal of study tour or team building activities of government employees,” De Guzman explained.
“Also included is the questionable purchase of a treadmill amounting to P260 thousand,” she added.
De Guzman also suggested auctioning the modified hi-lux car purchased by the past administration for rescue and disaster operations of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office headed by Mata then, including the unserviceable assets at the General Services Office.
This is supported by State Auditor IV Virgilio C. Quinto who suggested that this can be done through an executive order.
In light of these, Fernandez assured that she will not allow these things to happen again and assured that people’s money will not come to waste in purchasing unnecessary equipment such as the treadmill. (CIO/10-10-2013)