MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Council has approved a P27.8 billion budget for 2020, allocating nearly half or 44% to social services.
Assistant City Administrator for Finance Don Javillonar said the city government has “veered away” from the practice of prioritizing infrastructure. (READ: Second-in-command no more: Joy Belmonte reshapes the Quezon City ideal)
“We are balancing between growth of the city and the welfare of our people. We want to improve the lives of our people, we need to give back to them by putting the bulk of the budget in [social services],” said Javillonar, explaining the move.
Social services, which include financial assistance for fire victims, burial, and healthcare, among others, got a 32% increase in 2020, or to P12.3 billion from P8.4 billion allocation in 2019.
Medicines and medical supplies got a P2.2 billion share in next year’s budget, a four-fold increase over 2019, while P90 million was allotted to Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) of city hall employees.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte kept her promise of raising medical assistance from P3,000 to P5,000, and raising the city government’s burial assistance from P10,000 to P25,000. (IN NUMBERS: QC Mayor Joy Belmonte’s first 100 days)
The 2020 budget is 23% higher than in 2019 but Belmonte assured Quezon City residents that there will be no increase in taxes.
“We will simply intensify our tax collection efforts to fund our budget,” Belmonte said in a statement on Wednesday, November 27.
The rest of the budget is broken down as follows:
- General public services – P10.1 billion
- Economic services – P4.2 billion
- Legislative branch – P1.2 billion