BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The proposed P4.9 billion budget of the provincial government of Negros Occidental for 2023 was submitted yesterday to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan by the executive department for approval.
The proposed budget is lower by P766,355,918 compared to 2022 budget of the province, a result of the 12.7 percent reduction of its National Tax Allotment from the national government.
The 2022 budget of the province was P5,719,337,346.
However, the operating budget of its Economic Enterprise Development Department rose from P183,846,174.37 this year to a proposed 190,379,525.15 for 2023.
In computing the NTA, the Department of Budget and Management uses as base period the third year prior to the distribution. In this case, the 2023 budget of LGUs is measured against the revenues raised in 2020.
The NTA reduction was blamed by DBM on declining tax collections in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez yesterday said that the proposed budget of Bacolod City for next year will likely be the same as 2022, which is P3.25 billion, following the reduction of its NTA by P300 million.
The proposed general fund budget for 2023 is slated to be submitted to the Bacolod City Council for deliberations and approval within the month.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, accompanied by Provincial Budget Officer Gemma Flores, yesterday submitted the P4,952,981,428 proposed General Fund budget of Negros Occidental provincial government for Fiscal Year 2023 to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which was received by presiding officer Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, witnessed by Board Members Rommel Debulgado and Julius Martin Asistio.
The proposed budget of Negros Occidental is up for first reading during the regular Sangguniang Panlalawigan session next week.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said that the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses of the provincial government will be affected, stressing the need for various Capitol departments to tighten their belts.*