The Negros Occidental provincial government is setting its priorities for the second term of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson in a three-year development plan, and is preparing for a 14 percent drop in its 2023 budget, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said on Wednesday, June 22.
The priorities of the provincial government in its three-year development plan are food security, education, infrastructure and peace and order, among others, Diaz said.
Lacson is aiming to make Negros Occidental self-sufficient in food amid a looming worldwide crisis, he said.
The provincial government department heads have been asked to set tangible, concrete and doable objectives, he added.
Diaz said Lacson will announce his big ticket projects during his inaugural speech on Saturday, June 25.
The provincial government’s National Tax Allotment (NTA) increased by 16 percent this year with the implementation of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling that granted Local Government Units a share of all national taxes collected, Diaz said.
However, because of the national government’s poor tax collection at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 the provincial government’s share of the NTA will drop by 14 percent in 2023, Diaz said.
A lot of cost cutting measures will have to be implemented, especially in the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses of the province that will drop by P600 million, he said.
That means cutting cost on electricity, supplies, travel and trainings, he said.
Diaz said the five-day work week at the Capitol will continue, there is no reason to go back to a four-day work week now.*