Bacolod Councilor Caesar Distrito yesterday said they will conduct marathon hearings on the proposed P2.2 billion budget of the city for 2018on Nov. 20, 21 and 27.
Distrito, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Finance and Appropriations, said they will invite the City Treasurer's Office, the City Budget Office, and the concerned department and office heads to the hearings, as well as the City Mayor's Office that have to justify the allocations, he said.
Distrito said they have been informed in advance that this time, the SP will exercise the authority grantedit by the Department of Budget and Management, that if there are important priorities not included in the budget, they will provide funds for it coming from items that are of less priority or where there is extra budget.
He said the SP is allowed toeither reduce or provide budget where it is needed.
They will also warn departments that if they fail to attend the hearings to defend their budget, the SP will presume that their absence is an indication that they are not interested to defend it so this will be given to offices or projects where it is more needed, Distrito said.
They are now of sending invitations to the concerned offices, he said.
Distrito said the offices that need bigger budgets are the City Mayor's Office, City Engineer's Office, and the Bacolod City College.
Most of the budget will go to the salaries of the city employees, he said.
Next year's budget has an increase of P200 million over last year's P2 billion, he added.*CGS
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