BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The marathon hearing of the proposed P5.7 billion budget of the provincial government for 2022 starts today, as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental targets its approval after two weeks of budget deliberations.
Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, who is the presiding officer, yesterday said that he already discussed with Board Member Rommel Debulgado, chairperson of the SP committee on Finance and Appropriations, that they will only summon important Capitol departments to justify their proposed budgets.
The proposed budget, which increased by P1.3 billion compared to 2021 due to the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling of the Supreme Court, has already been forwarded to the committee of Debulgado.
Ferrer said that the series of budget hearings will start Tuesday until Thursday this week.
We will follow the schedule of budget approval last year, so that we have enough time to ask questions in the formulation of budget, he added.
The Mandanas-Garcia ruling allows local government units to have a just share from all taxes collected by the national government, and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
With the additional sum in our National Tax Allocation, formerly known as the Internal Revenue Allotment, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said that the provincial government is required to provide programs, projects, and activities to be devolved from the national government.*