February 9, 2023

The city government will ensure that funds for Covid-19 response and control measures will be prioritized amid the expected shortfall in the city’s 2020 and 2021 budgets.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said this is necessary to ensure that all control programs and systems against the disease will continue unhampered considering the “fluid” nature of the virus.
The local finance committee led by Budget Officer Leticia Clemente and City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias reported that for this year, the city incurred a deficit of P126 million in the last five months representing income loss from internal and external revenue sources.
The city’s budget for 2021 has also been projected to decrease by as much as P400M because of the widespread economic slump caused by the pandemic.
Despite the bleak financial projection however, Magalong said the city will not allow Covid-19 response programs to take the backseat and instead will sustain the systems anchored on contact tracing, testing, triage, quarantine, and isolation, care, and treatment.
For this year, the city has programmed funds for the improvement and expansion of the different triage and isolation facilities as proactive measures against the disease.
The city has lined up the following projects for the continuation of the anti-Covid-19 campaign this year: improvement of the isolation, triage, and quarantine facility at Teachers Camp; upgrading of the Baguio City Community Isolation facility at the former Sto. Niño Jesus Medical Center; construction of triage, testing, and isolation facilities at the Baguio Convention Center; and operation of the travel document processing centers at the Baguio Athletic Bowl and PFVR Gym.
For 2021, the city will finalize the fund requirement for the Covid-19 operations which will include the purchase of additional personal protective equipment (PPEs) and the emergency hiring of additional health workers.
The city was able to save a big chunk of its budget this year because of donations of PPEs, testing kits, vital equipment and cash worked out by the mayor which if quantified would have cost the city coffers precious millions. – Aileen P. Refuerzo