The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental has set marathon hearings on Oct. 22 to 26 for all the departments of the provincial government on the proposed P4-billion budget for 2019, Board Member Salvador Escalante said yesterday.
Escalante, who chairs the SP Committee on Finance, said in an interview that there will be marathon hearings in every department on the third week of this month to fast-track the approval of the provincial budget for next year.
As there will be an election ban on the first quarter of 2019, his committee wants to pass the budget in mid-November this year, he said.
“This is our way of helping the executive branch. We eye to pass it early for the departments to process the documents of the projects they have earmarked for next year,” Escalante said.
The proposed budget, that was passed on first reading yesterday, allocated P2,073,919,606 for Personnel Services, P755,563,077 for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses, and P1,172,435,347 for Special Projects Allocation.
At present, the budget of the provincial government is P3.4 billion.
Usually, the budget of the provincial government is approved by the SP on the first week of December, except in 2012.
During the marathon hearings, every department will justify their proposed budgets and Escalante’s committee will probe on the under-utilization of funds, as he observed that the province has just used 50 to 60 percent of its fund, as of this month.
He clarified that there will be no slashing of budgets during the hearings but they will just remind every departments of the red flags to avoid under-utilization of funds, and how they will use it fully in 2019.*
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