Negros Occ. 2018 Budget Drops

The budget of the provincial government of Negros Occidental has dropped. Compared to 2017, the province’ budget was P3.4 billion, but for 2018, the budget as per draft from the different departments, has dropped to P3.3 billion only. The budget of each department were prepared based on the annual investment plan facilitated by the provincial budget office.

According to Dr. Lucille Gelvolea, acting provincial administrator, as practiced, the budget is prepared with austerity measures, without necessarily sacrificing the social services. Initially, the biggest slice of the budget is for the engineering office due to its multifarious infrastructure projects. In the offices, the salary of employees also contributes to the bigger slice of the budget. The salary of employees increased based on the salary standardization law. The provincial government has 1,900 regular employees, excluding the contractual and job order employees who receive the same benefits with the regular employees. However, the job order employees do not have GSIS benefits, instead they were enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS). Like the regulars and contractuals, the job order employees are also provided by the provincial government with PhilHealth and Pag-ibig benefits, Dr. Gelvolea also said.

Each department will deliberate its budget after which the SP will approve.

The 2017 budget was approved by the SP in November 2016, so it is expected that the 2018 budget will be approved earlier too.*(EBC)