The City Council approved the budget through a resolution filed by Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget, during the regular session on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Opposition Councilors Nestor Archival, Joy Augustus Young and Mary Ann Delos Santos abstained from voting on the resolution allowing the majority to approve the total P10,597,000 budget.
The budget will fund the 19-day celebration the City Government has prepared for Independence Day.
Archival said the amount is “too big” and he asked if there is a way to celebrate the anniversary with a much lesser budget.
Wenceslao, in response to Archival’s comment, said it was the executive department that prepared the budget and requested the filing of a resolution.
Archival, during the regular session, said a lot of people in the city are starving, and such money could have been allocated for social services.
“This is P10.6 million, inig human nato’g marcha marcha diha sa dan, gutomon ta. Inig pauli nato, the P10 million is gone. Pwerti gyung dakoa ani, gabaan guro ta ani,” Archival added.
(That’s P10.6 million, and after we march on the streets, we are hungry. When we go home, the P10 million is gone. This is too much, we might face karma.)
Young, in a message sent to SunStar Cebu on Sunday, May 28, said the City’s plans were one way of “wasting money” and the budget could not be justified.
In an interview on Sunday, Archival said he supports the celebration of Independence Day, but it is prudent to use a decent budget.
“I opted to abstain but not object, to portray my sentiment. It is important for us to celebrate our Independence Day, but use a decent budget,” Archival said.
The Cebu City Hall will start its Independence Day celebration on Monday, May 29, and end on June 16.
The largest chunk of the budget is intended for the Barangayan sa Sugbo Festival of Festivals with P7.7 million.
The Barangayan sa Sugbo Festival of Festivals is an event that will showcase the festival of each barangay in the city. The City targets to hold the event at the South Road Properties (SRP).
Of the P7.7 million, P2,915,000 is for the prizes of the participants; P1.5 million is for the production; P120,000 for the judges’ honorarium; P3 million for the subsidy; and P210,000 for the plaques.
The second largest allocation of the budget will go to the Independence Ball at P1,380,000 with P600,000 going to the food and venue.
The budget covers P1,200 per net for 500 expected attendees and P780,000 for production and program coordination.
Other items included in the budget are the following:
* P965,000 for the Independence Day Week Celebration;
* P825,000 for the dry fit shirt;
* P140,000 for polo shirt;
* P340,000 for the Independence Day morning program;
* P140,000 for breakfast buffet;
* P100,000 for flaglets;
* P100,000 for tarpaulin;
* P17,000 for photo exhibit; and
* P150,000 for other necessary and miscellaneous expenses;
Based on the certification attached to the proposed budget, City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia said the budget is sourced from the City-sponsored activities, which currently has an available balance of P90.5 million.
SunStar Cebu attempted to get the budget for last year’s Independence Day celebration of the City but to no avail.