Bacolod mulls P19M budget for 2019 fests

BACOLOD City – The Office of the City Mayor plans to shell out almost P19 million for various festivals to be held next year.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on appropriations and finance held on Thursday its first hearing on the city government’s P2.52-billion proposed budget for 2019.

For the MassKara Festival alone the Office of the City Mayor proposed a P4-million allocation, disclosed Councilor Caesar Distrito, committee chairman.

Even higher was the proposed budget for the Bacolaodiat Festival – the local celebration of the Chinese New Year – at P5 million.

There was a separate budget of P6.5 million for the participants in the MassKara Festival’s Street and Arena Dance Competition (Barangay and School categories) and the Electric MassKara.

The Office of the City Mayor also allotted P200,000 for the Bacolod-Korean Festival, P500,000 for the Bacolod-Japan Festival, P2 million for the Chicken Inasal Festival, and P500,000 for the Diwali Festival, said Distrito.

Moreover Leonardia’s office allocated P5 million for the city government’s sports program, which covers Batang Pinoy (P500,000), Philippine National Games (P300,000) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Sportsfest (P200,000), and another P5 million for miscellaneous fees for public schools.

The Office of the City Mayor also wanted the public Wi-Fi project implemented next year, allocating P2 million for it under the Management Information Technology and Computer Services.

Twenty-six city hall offices and divisions and connected offices presented their respective proposed budgets for next year during the first committee hearing. They were:

* General Services Office

* City Library

* City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office

* Register of Deeds

* Public Affairs and Assistance Division

* Office of the City Treasurer, and its Land Tax, License, Cash, and Administrative divisions

* City Budget Office

* Human Resource Management Services

* Office of the City Assessor

* City Legal Office

* Office of the City Civil Registrar

* City Planning and Development Office (CPDO)

* City Administrator’s Office

* Office of the City Accountant

* Management Audit Services Office

* City Prosecutor’s Office

* Municipal Trial Court

* Regional Trial Court

* Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO)

* Bureau of Jail Management and Penology

* Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO)

* Public Order and Safety Office

Representatives of most of these offices posed no objection to and were satisfied with their budgets, said Distrito.

But the BCPO asked for an increase in their budget for telephone and internet consumption to cover the expense for the computerized issuance of police clearance, while the BTAO asked funding for the purchase of towing trucks.

Moreover, there have been requests for the creation and funding of additional positions – a Planning Officer II under the CPDO, an Assistant City Administrator, and a DRRM Officer, which is required in the bid for the Interior department’s Seal of Good Local Governance – Distrito said.

The remaining offices and divisions will present in the second and third committee budget hearings on Nov. 19 and 20./PN


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