By Ric Obedencio | 12:13 PM December 10, 2022
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Bohol has passed an Ordinance appropriating a total of Php3,919,489,619.00 annual budget for 2023 for operations of the provincial government 2023 on Dec. 6, 2022 during its regular session, but not without opposition.
Provincial Board Member Vierna Mae “Mimi” Boniel-Maglasang voted “no” and BMs Atty. Venzencio Arcamo, Aldner Damalerio and Dr. Elpidio Bonita abstained.
But their supposed member of the opposition bloc, BM Nathaniel Binlod cast an affirmative in favor of the said budget.
BM Christian Victor Bolos, federated provincial Sangguniang Kabataan, was visibly absent from the session.
Those who favored the budget and are allies of Gov. Aris Aumentado and Vice-Gov. Victor Balite were: BMs Atty. Tommy Abapo, Jr., Greg Jala, Atty. Jiselle Rae Villamor, Tita V. Baja, Lucille Lagunay, PCL president Gloria B. Gementiza and Dr. Romulo Cepedoza, who introduced the annual budget in second reading.
Balite, appropriations committee chair, is the sponsor and Arcamo, Damalerio, Villamor, Cepedoza, Baja Gementiza, co-sponsors of the appropriation measure.
Cepedoza said in interview that the objection and abstention are not really to oppose to the entire budget but probably they’re against the creation of the Office of Governance Accountability and Review (OGAR), created by the governor to run after those officials and employees, both in past and present administrations, who may be responsible for wrong doing in provincial government.
The objectives of the measure are to: create jobs and livelihood opportunities; promote peace and order; develop right infrastructure for power and water supply, roads, and other priority physical intervention; institute governance reform for the promotion of transparency and accountability; improve scope and quality of health and social services; enhance trade and industry; boost eco-cultural tourism; increase agriculture productivity and ensure food security; expand effective education services; preserve and promote Boholano heritage; protect and manage the environment.
The sources of the appropriation measure, include the following: Beginning Balance, P237,825,661.00; Real Property Tax, P65,000,000.00; Tax on Goods and Services,P33,350,000.00; Operating and Miscellaneous Revenue, P463,015,000.00; Extra Ordinary Receipts; P31,200,000.00; Other Receipts, P69,000,000.00; Capital Investment Receipts, P3,000,000.00; National Tax Allocation (NTA)(IRA), P2,824,908,290.00; Share from National Wealth & PCSO Lotto, P3,150,000.00; and Reverted Unexpended Balances, P189,040,668.00.
The 2023 budget, if approved by the regional office of budget/management after review, is to be spent for the following: Personal Services (PS), P1,128,281,675.71; Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), P1,155,388,365.70; Capital Outlay (CO), P51,115,382.00; Programs and Projects of Offices (incl. from reverted prior years), P805,772,824.49; 20% Development Fund, P564,981,658.00; 5% DRRM Fund, P169,773,664.50; ug Special Purpose (Aid to Brgys, and Non-Office), P44,176,048.60. (rvo)