Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s office will get the biggest chunk — 190 million — of the nearly half a billion supplemental budget, which was passed Tuesday on second reading by the City Council. Much of it (180 million) will go to his “peace and order program.” He also gets to spend an additional 10 million for doleouts to the city’s indigents. On the other hand, the City Social Services and Development Office gets 322,000 pesos.

By Cheryll D. Fiel
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The City Council passed Tuesday on second reading the city’s supplemental budget worth nearly half a billion pesos, with almost half of it going to the coffers of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Of the 423-million-peso budget, which is expected to get final approval during the third reading in the days ahead, the biggest chunk — 190 million pesos — will be at Duterte’s disposal, with 180 million pesos allotted to his “peace and order program.”

This means the mayor will have more money to spend on the police and military and on the other public-safety projects he has to keep the city safe. The mayor is known for his tough ways on crime and had said in the past that he had spent millions of his “peace and order” fund to manage crime.

“Peace and order” is the mayor’s No. 1 thrust when he was reelected in the recent election, according to his website. “The campaign to maintain peace and order in the city will be intensified and sustained,” the site said. “Recent developments show that the city can never be complacent and waver at anytime in ensuring that the people of Davao live peacefully. There are prevailing and emerging threats to the peace and prosperity of the city and its people.”

Davao City and its nearby areas have been the targets of terrorist attacks, the most horrific being the bombings of the airport and the Sasa wharf in 2003.

Among the expenses that the mayor can make under his budget are for general services, gasoline, oil and lubricants, assistance during military encounters, and the purchase of vehicles.

Duterte will spend the remaining 10 million pesos on his Lingap program, which provides financial assistance to indigents, particularly for hospitalization and burial.

The supplemental budget is the first to be deliberated this year, on top of the regular 2.5 billion budget passed last November. Duterte said the additional money is “urgent and necessary” for his programs and projects.

The next biggest amount in the supplemental budget will go to the “salary adjustment” of City Hall workers, which will cost 77 million.

Forty million is allocated for infrastructure projects, 30.7 million for non-infrastructure projects, 30 million for the City Engineer’s Office, 16.7 million for the Environment and Natural Resources Office, 7.6 million for the City Health Office, 7.4 million for “economic enterprise,” 4.2 million for “development administration,” 742,000 for the City Veterinarian Office, 320,000 for the City Council, 322,000 for the City Social Services and Development Office, 190,000 for the City Assessor’s Office, 67,000 for the registrar’s office, and 20,000 for the City Legal Office.

Councilor Myrna L’Dalodo Ortiz, the chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Ways and Means and Appropriations, said the additional budget will be sourced from the additional Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for Davao City estimated to be worth 312 million pesos.

Sixty-eight million of the budget will be taken from the appropriated surplus in the regular budget of 2006. Another 29 million will be from the unreleased IRA of 2000-2001, while seven million will come from “reversion of appropriations” and six million from the “unappropriated balance” of 2007.

All in all, Ortiz said, the IRA in the supplemental budget for this year will be 1.792 billion, a 10.2-percent increase from the IRA last year.

During Tuesday’s hearing, councilors tackled some questions pertaining to specific items in the budget, which were quickly resolved. Under the rules, any question or debate should be tackled during the second reading. The third reading is seen is just a formality to finally pass the supplemental budget. (Cheryll D. Fiel/

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