The Bohol Provincial Board (PB) on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the proposed P4.5-billion provincial budget for 2021.
All 13 provincial lawmakers voted to approve the Provincial Appropriation Ordinance with no abstentions or negative votes during a regular session of the legislative body.
“Malipayon ko na mo report sa katawhan sa Bohol nga ang atong proposed budget for the year 2021 has already been acted with finality by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unya malipayon ko na more or less unanimous ming tanan sa approval niini wa yamo usa na ni-abstain o kaha ni object,” said Vice Governor Rene Relampagos, who chairs the PB’s committee on finance and who acted as presiding officers during the session.
The budget for 2021 is higher by 33 percent or P1.1 billion compared with the previous allocation of P3.4 billion for this year.
According to Relampagos, they approved the budget “more or less” in accordance with the allocation recommendation made by Governor Art Yap.
Relampagos said that a large chunk of the budget included a loan of P1.1 billion from the Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
The amount will be used to fund water supply sources which will benefit 18 towns mostly in the third and second districts.
Relampagos noted that many villages in the province still do not have access to clean and potable water and the budget seeks to address the issue.
“Dili ni siya dole out. Laktod pagkasulti, tungod kay ang probinsya may naay borrowing capacity na maka deal sa mga bangko, atong gipahimuslan na mura’g ang probinsya maoy mangutang para sa mga kalungsuran aron ilang ma develop ang ilang tagsa-tagsa ka waterworks sa kada lungsod so that they will have clean and potable water,” he said.
The vice governor noted that the amount will be loaned out to the recipient municipalities which in turn will repay it within a specific period.
“Kanang ibayad nila namo over a period of time, 10 years, 15, 20 years, mao pud nay ibayad sa probinsya aning utanga sa banko,” he said.
Other departments and expenditures that received more budget for next year included the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund which was allocated P147.4 million (6% increase), development fund with P32.4 million (20% increase), personal services with P992.3 million (12% increase), and maintenance and other operating expenses at P922.4 million (6% increase).
Projects, programs and special activities of various offices will be allocated P789.2 million, special purpose budget with P16.6 million, and financial aid for each barangay with P27.7 million.
During the same session, the PB also approved P15 million for the local economic enterprise operation of Café Caloy. (RT)