Despite IRA reduction, Celso vows more projects, services PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 February 2012 13:14

The City Government will continue the massive implementation of infrastructure projects and the acceleration of social services despite the huge decrease in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) this year.

Mayor Celso Lobregat assured this, even as he disclosed IRA adjustments made by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) which will mean a reduction of P215.619  million or 13.27 percent in the city’s IRA share this year as compared to last year’s figures.

He said the City’s annual budget for 2012 has increased despite the reduction of IRA share of all cities brought about by two factors: low collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2009 and the Supreme Court flip flopping decision to convert the 16 municipalities into cities.

When the 2011 Executive Budget was prepared, the IRA estimates was P1.511 billion and adding said amount to the estimated local taxes and reversions, the FY 2011 Executive Budget was P2.11 billion. 

However, according to the mayor, the actual IRA for 2011 was P1.625 billion but for 2012, the DBM has adjusted Zamboanga’s IRA to only P1.409 billion. “This represents an IRA reduction of P215.619 million or 13.27%.”

The mayor has comprehensively explained the City’s Budget and Treasury collections strategies during his State of the City Report before the City Council last January 25.

He said to cushion the huge decrease in IRA and to sustain the city’s momentum in implementing infrastructure projects and social service programs, receipts in local taxes for 2012 is projected at P620 million or an increase of P52.55 million compared to 2011. “Also included in 2012 Annual Budget is a reversion of continuing appropriation in the amount of P96.34 million and P30.44 million from prior years’ surplus.”

And as in the past 8 years, with sound fiscal management, the city government will have a well-balanced mix of a conservative Personal Services (PS) of 31%, a manageable Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of 36% and ensure an impressive Capital Outlay and Equipment (CO&E) of 33%.

And in terms of expense classification in 2012, Social Services get the highest allocation at 40%, followed by General Public Services at 33%, and Economic Services at 27%.

When Lobregat was first elected mayor in 2004, the city’s annual budget was P1.034 billion. The budget soared to P2.110 billion in 2011 and for 2012, the projected annual budget is P2.156 billion, which is again, more than double the budget in 2004.

“Building on the successes we have made in the last 8 years, this administration continues to be prudent and judicious in the allocation of the City’s revenues and resources. We continue to ensure that this money is spent wisely and sensibly”, the mayor emphasized.

The Lobregat administration has accomplished massive infrastructure projects from 2009-2011 with 2,048 projects amounting to P3.28 billion without borrowing a single centavo from any financial institution. — Sheila Covarrubias