THE Quezon City Council has approved the P27.8-billion budget for 2020, a 23-percent increase from the 2019 budget of P21.5 billion. Social services got the biggest portion of the budget at P12.3 billion, a 32-percent jump from P8.4 billion. Mayor Josefina Belmonte said the 2020 budget for social services was about 44 percent of the total budget. The city government reserved P10.1 billion for general public services, P4.2 billion for economic services and P1.2 billion for the legislative branch. “From day one, I knew that the bedrock of this administration would be service to the people,” Belmonte said. “We will build on our gains in the past, continue all good programs, projects and create new, stronger sustainable ones,” she added. Assistant City Administrator for Finance Don Javillonar said they focused on the delivery of social services through the Social Services Development Department (SSDD) and veered away from the usual practice on putting premium on infrastructure. “We are balancing between growth of the city and the welfare of our people.
We want to improve the lives of our people, we need to give back to them by putting the bulk of the budget on SSDD,” Javillonar said. For 2020, the mayor said the city hall had multiplied four times the allocation for medicines and medical supplies to P2.2 billion, increased medical assistance from P3,000 to P5,000 and raised burial assistance from P10,000 to P25,000. In addition, the city government allocated around P90 million for the Health Maintenance Organization for all its employees. Belmonte also assured there would be no increase in taxes for its residents and business despite the increase in next year’s budget.