• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental approved on Tuesday the province’s P5.4 billion budget for next year, fulfilling the promise of Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer of its approval within the first week of December.
The newly approved 2024 budget showed an increase of 5.66 percent compared to last year’s budget, said Board Member Rommel Debulgado, SP committee chairman on Finance, which he attributed to the increase of the National Tax Allotment (NTA) of the province.
Of the P5,434,644,700 budget for 2024, records of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan showed that P5,244,603,544 was earmarked for the general fund, and P190,041,156 for the Economic Enterprise Development Department (EEDD).
The 2024 budget was unanimously approved by the SP during its regular session on Tuesday.
Negros Occidental has an NTA of P4,904,713,544 or 93.52 percent of the source of income. Local income is estimated at P338,890,000 or 6.48 percent.
The Special Purpose Appropriations (SPA) got the biggest share of the 2024 General Fund Budget of the provincial government of Negros Occidental, with an allotment of P2,073,003,000, or 39 percent of the general fund.
Personal Services (PS) cost P1,916,942,867 or 36.55 percent; Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses – P1,248,657,677 or 22.82 percent, and Capital Outlay – 6,000,000 or 0.11 percent. A total of P981,000,000 is appropriated under the 20 percent Development Fund, the biggest share of the SPA.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund is at P262,500,000.
For the distribution of the PS appropriation by sector, the Social Services Sector will have the highest allocation at 64.90 percent.
The Office of the Governor also proposed the creation, transfer, and abolition of certain posts.
A total of P120 million has been allotted for Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit that includes possible salary increase, Performance-Based Bonus (PBB), Incentive Benefits for Exemplary Services (IBES) and Service Recognition Incentive (SRI).*