Budget Watch

Iloilo City Council OKs P3-billion budget for 2022

Joseph B.A. Marzan
Iloilo City Council OKs P3-billion budget for 2022

ILOILO CITY GOVERNMENT. The facade of Iloilo City Hall

Arnold Almacen/Iloilo City Mayor's Office

The biggest chunk of the budget goes to financial assistance programs, social services, and membership dues owed by the city

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Iloilo City unanimously approved its P3.083-billion budget for 2022 on Tuesday, December 7.

The 2022 budget is P2.6 billion higher than the city’s 2021 budget.

The biggest chunk of the 2022 budget will go to the Special Purpose Appropriations (P743 million) – allocations mandated by law, contributions and dues to organizations the city is a member of, financial assistance, and social service programs.

These programs include support for the 2022 elections, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund, Development Fund, Aid to Barangays, memberships in the League of Cities of the Philippines and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, assistance to indigent persons, and aid to jails, police stations, and courts, among others.

The mayor’s office has the second highest allocation (P695 million), which includes allocations for personnel services (P94.67 million), maintenance and other operating expenses (P557.14 million), and capital outlay (P43.17 million).

Other offices with the highest allocations include:

  • The City General Services Office (P315.14 million)
  • City Engineer’s Office (P254.59 million)
  • City Health Office (P188.97 million)
  • City Treasurer’s Office (P104.8 million)
  • Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (P101.96 million)
  • Sangguniang Panglungsod (P100.33 million)
  • City Social Welfare and Development Office (P83.35 million)
  • Local Economic Enterprise Fund for the city’s Public Markets (P78.81 million)

Meanwhile, offices with the lowest budgets include:

  • City Agriculture Office (P18.51 million)
  • City Veterinarian’s Office (P14.32 million)
  • Technical Institute of Iloilo City (P12.44 million)
  • City Tourism and Development Office (P12.39 million)
  • Internal Audit Service Office (P9.4 million)
  • Local Economic Enterprise Office (P8.41 million), Information Systems Office (P8 million)
  • Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (P6.76 million)
  • Office of the City Architect (P2.89 million)
  • City Auditor’s Office (P423,000).

More than half or 52.15% (P1.067 billion) of the budget would come from National Tax Allocations (NTA), while 47.28% (P1.457 billion) would come from local revenues and income, and 0.57% (P17.5 million) from economic zones.

Councilor Jay Treñas, chairperson of the Sanggunian’s appropriations committee, said that the share from the NTA increased from 46% in 2021. He added that the local share decreased subsequently also due to the lower income generated by the city.

“There was a significant decrease in the local [earnings]. During the committee hearing, I was informed that [the Iloilo City government] had P700 million in tax collected, and this year, we only had P500 million plus, so that’s a P200 million loss,” said Treñas.

Treñas also said that the NTA increase of around P370 million was a “godsend” which offset the city government’s income loss of around P200 million.

He also said that the NTA increase benefited the City Health Office, and the Local Legislative Support Program.

“What rose for us is the [national tax allocations], or previously the internal revenue allotment, which was 46 percent last year, we got greatly from that because we now have 52.15 percent from the Mandanas ruling, so that’s a P370 million increase, which offsets the deficiencies. At the same time, in some offices we are working in reduced budgeting,” he said. – Rappler.com

Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.