SouthCot allocates P162-M for economic, infra projects

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said allocation was based on the P573.3 million budget earlier approved by the provincial board for this year that increased by 3.8 percent from last year's P534.56 million.   

"We increased the budget for economic services and infrastructure development by P17 million to finance our operations for agriculture, environment and engineering concerns," she said.

Fuentes said the additional funds were utilized for the operationalization of the newly-established Provincial Environment Management Office, maintenance and operation of the Provincial Engineering Office and for debt servicing.

She said they also provided additional funds to the Provincial Scion Grove, Demo Farm and Laboratory and for several agricultural development initiatives.

The provincial government's annual budget, which was finalized earlier this month, also covered P213.7 million for general public services and development administration, P168.4 million for social services and human development, P28.8 for non-office and other purposes.

Fuentes said the general public services budget went up by P47 million due to the transfer of accounts previously classified under the non-office portion.  

The amount for the sector will fund programs, projects and activities that promote the general public order and safety, for the judiciary, prosecution services, registry of deeds, auditing services, local government supervision, for administrative overhead and other regulatory functions of the province, she said.

Fuentes said they also increased the social services allocation by P2.5 million to fund the operation of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Population Office and the four public hospitals in the province.

"The budget will operationalize our development projects and activities for the next 11 months and propel our administrative machinery to accomplish its mandate," she added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)