March 2, 2024

The Baguio City Council approved the city’s P2,423,781,609 budget for 2023.
The amount is P114 million or 4.93 percent higher than this year’s budget of P2.309B.
Local and external sources of the P2.42B for the 2023 budget are: P110M estimated beginning balance considered as savings; P552,100,000 estimated tax revenue; P391,687,000 estimated as non-tax revenue; P1,166,994,609 share from the National Tax Allotment (NTA); P200M share from economic zones; and P3M share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Compared with the 2022 NTA, there is a decrease of P197M or 14 percent in the 2023 NTA due to the low revenue of the national government for 2020 brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The effects of the decrease in the NTA have been mitigated by the P110M beginning balance, according to the City Mayor’s Office (CMO).
Of the P2.42B, P130.24M has been allotted to the CMO, which listed three highlights of the 2023 appropriations.
The first is the second year of implementation of the devolution transition amounting to P127M pursuant to the Mandanas-Garcia ruling.
This amount shall be used to carry out the devolved functions of the City Health Services Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Veterinary and Agriculture Office, and the Public Employment and Services Office.
The CMO also highlighted the smart city operations including research and innovation worth P65M. 
The CMO added particular infrastructure projects aimed at promoting sustainable development.
These were road recovery and right-of-way projects, P60M; construction of centralized materials recovery facility, P30M; construction of retirement home, P10M; construction of youth and sports development facilities, P16M; sewer line projects, P29M; tourism, eco-park, and agri-tourism projects, P27M; flood control projects, P20M; and other priority barangay development projects, P45M.
In its letter to the city council requesting for the approval of the proposed 2023 budget, the CMO acknowledged that many proposed programs, projects, and activities were not accommodated due to budgetary constraints but promised to explore ways within the framework of the Local Government Code to forge partnerships with the private sector in order to fund the other priority developments projects.
The Local Finance Committee explained that other priority projects indicated in the 2023 Annual Investment Program (AIP) but not accommodated in the 2023 budget may be funded through supplemental budgets and through other external sources in the future. 
The city council also approved the 2023 AIP containing the city’s estimated expenditure in the amount of P11,019,131,000, a far cry from the actual P2.42B 2023 budget. 
Magalong recognized the AIP has to be aligned with the actual budget, but he explained that all projects identified to be priorities must be included in the AIP “because there are situations wherein, suddenly, we have foundations that are willing to fund them.”
Councilor Michael Lawana emphasized the need to craft a long-term development  and investment plan so that priority projects will not be returned to the city council every year for approval when unimplemented. – Jordan G. Habbiling