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Quezon City allocates nearly half of 2020 budget to social services

Loreben Tuquero
'We are balancing between growth of the city and the welfare of our people,' says Assistant City Administrator for Finance Don Javillonar

GROWTH AND WELFARE. The Quezon City government, under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte, is now putting the prime on social services instead of infrastructure. Photo from Quezon City Public Affairs Department

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

– Rappler.com

 

Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.