Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental joins the “Billionaire's Club” list of local government units in the country.
Mayor Isidro Zayco reported yesterday that Kabankalan City now has a budget of P1.2 billion for 2018, with P1 billion coming from its Internal Revenue Allotment.
Zayco said they are getting a big IRA because of the city's large area and population, which accounts for 75 percent of the computation, and 25 percent from equal sharing.
But he stressed that Kabankalan is not yet qualified to become a highly-urbanized city, since it has yet to meet the required number of population, which is 250,000.
At present, Kabankalan City has a population of 183,000.
Zayco, who is now on his last term as mayor of Kabankalan City, said 20 percent of the budget is being allocated for the development fund, five percent each for calamity and gender development funds, and one percent for child development, which are mandatory appropriations.
Others are being earmarked for salaries of city employees, maintenance funds, scholarships, delivery of health services, among others, he added.
Zayco, who has served as mayor of Kabankalan City for 17 years now, also noted a sharp increase in the number of investors, as indicated by the mushrooming commercial establishments, food chain stores, shopping centers, and subdivisions in the city.
That is good, Zayco said, because it indicates that the local economy is further improving, and providing livelihood opportunities to Kabankalanons.
He believes that the strategic location, purchasing power of Kabankalanons and residents of neighboring areas, may have attracted the investors, Zayco said.
Of the 1.2 billion budget for this year, Zayco said P200 million came from local revenues.
The concreting of an access road from Kabankalan City to Ayungon, Negros Oriental has been completed, and the city access road to Mabinay, Santa Catalina and Bayawan on the Oriental side is also almost finished, Zayco also said.*GPB
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