Davao City to get lower 2021 budget due to revenue losses amid COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 October) – The City Government of Davao has a proposed budget of 9.8 billion pesos for 2021, which is 4.85 % lower than the 10.3 billion peso budget this year due to lower revenue collections from local sources amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

The mayor announced over Davao City Disaster Radio that the lower budget next year would have a bearing on the implementation of infrastructure projects.

“What will happen? There is no major harm that will happen but we expect lesser projects that we can implement next year,” she said.

She said the local government put the estimated revenue losses at 854 million pesos.

CIty Hall of Davao in the time of COVID-19. MIndaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

She said the internal revenue allotment (IRA), a share of the local government unit from the revenues of the national government, would comprise PhP 397 million of the total proposed budget.

She said the proposed budget has yet to be deliberated in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, which approves budget proposals of the local government.

Davao City Central 911 is expected to get the biggest chunk of the proposed budget among offices of the city government because it has the most number of employees, the mayor said.

The 2021 budget will be used to fund projects proposed in her 10-priority agenda, such as peace and order, infrastructure development, transportation planning and traffic management, disaster risk reduction and mitigation, poverty alleviation, solid waste management, agriculture, health, education, and tourism.

“We will continue the projects, although we will have fewer infrastructure projects,” she said.

Duterte said the local government has a quick response fund of over 100 million pesos which could be utilized until the end of this year.

She said most of the budget that the local government utilizes for COVID-19 crisis response came from the Bayanihan Grant for Cities, City Mayor’s Office, and Public Service Enhancement program of the local government.

Last April 16, the city government received PhP 462 million from the Bayanihan Grant which is equivalent to the city’s one month IRA share. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)