GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 October) — The South Cotabato provincial board has approved an investment of around P2.49 billion for the local government’s priority programs and projects next year.
Board member Vicente de Jesus, chair of the board’s committee on finance and appropriation, aid Tuesday such funding comprise the provincial government’s Annual Investment Program (AIP) for 2016.
He said the AIP, which was crafted by the executive department, was earlier endorsed to the board by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), which is the province’s highest development policy-making body.
The PDC, which is chaired by South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, is composed of the province’s mayors, provincial officials and representatives of non-government and people’s organizations.
The AIP, as defined in the guidelines on provincial/local planning and expenditure management and the budget operations manual for local government units (LGUs), is the annual slice of the local investment development program of the LGUs.
It constitutes the total resource requirements of the LGU consisting of the annual capital expenditures as well as the regular operating expenditures that will serve as basis for the preparation of the annual budget and supplemental appropriations.
“The AIP is the main basis of our budget for next year. It covers the provincial government’s operations, delivery of regular and continuing services, and proposed public investment programs and projects,” De Jesus said.
The official said the approved AIP is a component of the Provincial Investment Program for 2014 to 2019.
He said it focuses on five development sectors that comprise social; administration; economic; technical infrastructure; environment management and disaster risk reduction/climate change adaptation (DRR/CCA).
The social development sector received the biggest allocation with P1.1 billion, followed by development administration with P640 million, technical infrastructure with P562.52 million, environment management and DRR/CCA with P175 million, and economic development with P118.7 million.
Around P5.13 million was set aside as assistance to national government agencies based in the province.
De Jesus said among the major projects lined up under the 2016 AIP is the rehabilitation of the provincial in Koronadal City.
He said the local government will commission a private architectural firm to come up with a design for a new building of the provincial hospital that has a proposed budget of around P200 million.
The provincial government will also re-develop a golf course in Barangay Paraiso in Koronadal City and assist the development of a tourism circuit in T’boli town in coordination with the Department of Tourism, he said.
De Jesus added that the local government will purchase additional equipment for the province’s three municipal and district hospitals and closed-circuit television cameras for the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center or provincial jail. (MindaNews)