Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte lauded the city council for the approval of a P28.7-billion budget for 2021 with social services remaining the topmost priority.
She said the allocation of funds for next year is rooted in the city’s objective of providing responsive and efficient social services for all residents, especially as the whole country continues to tackle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The need for social services support during these times is expected to remain high, as many of our citizens struggle against the pandemic and under the new normal,” she added.
Social services got almost half or 49% of the total budget at P13.9 billion.
The city earmarked P10.2 billion for general public services, P3.4 billion for economic services, and P1.2 billion for the legislative branch.
According to Belmonte, the city government had hoped for a small budget next year as the city may be hard-pressed to meet its revenue targets due to the pandemic hindering economic growth.
She said such would not be possible for two more reasons.
“Salaries and wages across the board have risen significantly, driven by the Salary Standardization Law and our need to provide competitive salaries for our healthcare workers. And lastly, we have to provide adequate and improved healthcare for all,” she added.
According to Assistant City Administrator for Finance Don Javillonar, these were reflected in the augmented budget of the City Health Department. RIO NOLASCO