By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said the city government is proposing a P3.6-billion budget for 2024 which will be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for approval in the first week of October 2023.
Benitez and the different department heads as well as concerned offices deliberated on the 2024 budget over the weekend.
The mayor said in a press conference on Monday that the budget is already complete.
“Natapos na, the way we approached the 2024 budget is, we started from the bottom, so gindula ta ang tanan nga recurring expenses that are not salary-related,” he added.
He said that the priority is what needs to be paid first.
“We started from there, like the actual staffing. Ang kada department or division started presenting their proposed budget and they have to defend it. Kon indi nila ma defend ila budget then we moved to the next one,” Benitez said.
He also said that it is not about what was achieved last year as they proposed next year’s budget based on the savings “so we started from the bottom unahon ta anay kon ano gid and need ta.”
Benitez said that there were innovations made like the payment scheme for the suppliers adding that the Bids and Awards Committee is a very interesting department but did not elaborate further.
He said “there was this issue nga ang mga suppliers indi ka bató sang aton nga presyo kay kadugay magbayad ang city and because of that ang ila ginahimo ginabutang nila ang cost of money.”
He added that suppliers find it hard to deal with the city government “so we came up with the plan to make sure that within 30 days after the delivery, they will be paid so that they will no longer include cost of money in their billing.”
Benitez said that 30 days is more than enough time to pay the suppliers adding that recently there are even suppliers asking for payment from the city for a transaction dating several years back.
“If we pay the suppliers on time, we reduce the cost.”
Meanwhile, Benitez said the 2024 budget of the city amounting to P3.6 billion is higher by more than P300 million compared to last year’s budget of P3.250 billion.
“We hope to send this to the SP for approval in the first week of October,” he added.
As to the job order (JO) employees of the city, Benitez said the number will remain the same.
He also said that the city government is strictly dealing with JOs as “we look for their DTR (Daily Time Record) para makita ta gid nga ga obra sila.”
Benitez further said that “technically they come to work for the city government, which can be considered as a contractual project, wala ni sila benefits, wala sang employee-employer relationship, so the city has been working hard to create job opportunities, they should go the PESO for job opportunities, they are better off there.”