LGU-Naga allots bulk of Php1.3-B budget on health, education, urban development

NAGA CITY--Health and education programs, as well as urban development projects of the City Government of Naga, got the bulk of its P 1.3B budget for this year, 2019—these aside from other sectors that were also being prioritized and allotted huge budget by the city including disaster preparedness initiatives, among others.

The approved budget was higher by P 200M as compared with last year's budget of P 1.14B— an increase due to the growing revenue of the city government with the higher collection on business and real property taxes, as well as the expanding income of local economic enterprises that include the Bicol Central Station (BCS), Market Enterprise and Promotions Office (MEPO), Naga City Hospital (NCH), and the Naga City Abattoir.

To further cause improvements in the health sector and help ease the health needs in the community, various health institutions in the city including the City Health Office (CHO), City Population and Nutrition Office (CPNO), Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary (OLLI) and the Naga City Hospital (NCH), were allotted a total of about P 155M budget for the upgrading of the city's health facilities and services including the provision of X-Ray and Laboratory services and other health programs to respond especially to the problems on malnutrition and disease outbreaks.

Upholding the utmost value of education for its people, the city government also allotted more than P 100M in the Special Education Fund for various educational support such as in the purchase of needed instructional materials, conduct of seminars and trainings, construction and repairs of school facilities, and financial support to academic competitions. A budget of P 16M was also allotted for scholarship to help students with the financial needs for their studies, especially those in the marginalized sector.

Ensuring also that the housing needs of the less privileged families are being met, the City Government allotted around P50M budget to finance urban redevelopment projects and provide better facilities in urban poor settlement sites.

Among still the priorities of the city government is the disaster preparedness of the city— allotting P 62M for calamity fund that will be used to support programs, projects and trainings that will further improve the city's resiliency in times of unwanted disasters and emergencies.

Working also to improve the city's waste management initiatives, around P 90M budget was allotted for the operation of the sanitary landfill, waste-to-energy facility, and other garbage collection-related policies. Around P 13M was also allotted for the needed Naga River rehabilitation.

In the environment sector, the city government continues to ensure that their facilities and those of private entities are compliant with environmental laws— working out the operations of the wastewater treatment facility at the Naga City Hospital, Naga City Public Market and the Naga City Abattoir; enforcement of anti-smoke belching law; and protection of the Mt. Isarog National Park with the allotted P 11M budget.

To continuously manage the road and traffic flow inside the city, the Public Safety Office was supported with a P 38M budget for the assessment of needed road signages, as well as the functionality of traffic lights.

The City Engineer's Office was also allotted with P 45M budget for the construction of road projects to serve as alternate routes to decongest traffic in especially in the central business districts, as well as storm drainages to resolve flooding problems particularly in the low-lying areas in the city.

Strengthening its support to the vulnerable sectors in the community, the city government continues to apportion financial support for the conduct of programs for their benefit and empowerment—P 8.9M for the senior citizens, P 3.8M for the persons-with-disabilities, P 4M for the youth, and P 21.7M for the children sector.

Seeking also to address possible demands that may arise in the barangays, the city government allotted around P 50M to respond to their needs.

As with the other years, the city's budget reflects its lower dependency in the Internal Revenue Allocation of the national government which comprises only 47% of the the city budget than that of its own locally- generated revenue that makes up 53% of the fund— indication of the city's continued economic dynamism. (Armie B. Gunay, CEPPIO)