City engineers told: Don’t wish for what you can’t finish
IDENTIFY your priorities.
Councilor Margot Osmeña told the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) after they submitted a long list of projects to the City Council for inclusion in the 2014 budget.
DEPW is asking for a P3.9 billion budget. P3.6 billion of this will be spent on projects and programs including the P344 million worth of drainage improvement projects, road concreting with side drainage – P226 million, concreting of mountain barangay roads that connect to Cebu province roads – P217.5 million, acquisition of equipment – P127 million and road asphalting – P86.4 million.
Osmeña asked DEPW head Kenneth Enriquez to identify next year’s priority projects.
She said during the budget hearing that the City Council will have to approve a 2014 budget based on the city’s P5.8 billion in “realizable” revenues.
“We are not being disrespectful. We just have to be candid. You tell us what you prioritize. We also give you the importance that you deserve because you are the ones who will do the work,” she told Enriquez.
DEPW’s budget request consists at least 30 percent of Mayor Michael Rama’s P10.5 billion budget request for 2014.
“But how much of this can you do?” Osmeña asked during the budget hearing yesterday.
Osmeña told the council that the engineering office have not been able to fully implement projects funded from the 2013 budget.
She said that of the P109.8 million construction allocation, only P22.6 million was obligated as of October 31.
Of the P52 million allocation for waterways and aquifers improvement, only P4.5 million was obligated.
Of this year’s asphalting budget of P10 million, only P.5 million was spent while the concreting budget of P10 million was not even touched.
Osmeña who chairs the budget committee was also dismayed because nobody answered when she asked if payments were already made to all of the completed projects.
“We had the (2013) budget approved but the projects are not implemented,” Osmeña said.
But Enriquez said the problem this year is the availability of funds.
Osmeña said that non-implementation of this year’s projects only mean two things – it’s either money was not made available for these projects or the engineering office cannot do it.
“It may not be your fault. It’s the availability of funds. You can’t work without the availability of funds and we have to be realistic,” she told Enriquez.
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