By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Provincial Board unanimously approved the P4 billion 2019 budget on its third and final reading during their recent regular session. According to Board Member Salvador Escalante, Jr., who chairs the Committee on Finance, the latest budget, which took nearly a month to deliberate, is an increase from the P3.6 billion approved in 2018.
However, he noted, the approval was the “earliest” in nine years.
Around P2.07 billion will be allocated for personnel services, about P755 million is set aside for maintenance and other operating expenses, and just over P1.17 billion is allotted for special projects.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. earlier forwarded a letter to Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson saying the provincial government is allocating funds for the ongoing implementation of prioritized programs, projects, and activities under the Negros First Development Agenda.
Meanwhile, Escalante noted, the early approval was made in order to avoid the election banning period and allow various provincial government departments and offices to have their purchase requests ready for approval by January 2019.
The election banning period begins in March 2019, two months before the midterm elections./DGB, WDJ