March 3, 2024

The city council will make a separate appropriation for financial assistance to vendors at Burnham Park who were displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic after a councilor pointed out an “insertion” into P200 million supplement budget for the continuing Covid-19 response.
In the breakdown submitted by the Office of the Mayor to the city council, P5M was allotted for the construction of kiosks for 94 vendors at Burnham Park.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda questioned the Local Finance Committee for including said amount as it is not directly related to the city’s Covid-19 response.
“The mayor is advocating good governance but this is not in accordance with the mayor’s letter,” Tabanda said, adding that if the intention is to help displaced vendors, fund allotment should include other vendors affected, not just those in Burnham Park.
City Accountant Antonio Tabin said there is nothing irregular in including the P5M in the supplement budget for the Covid response.
He said the P5M for the construction of kiosks is a project of the City Development Council and funded by the national government. He said the LFC included it to the P200M for easier liquidation.
But the city council said the P5M should be a separate appropriation.
The city council decided to appropriate only P195M and to invite Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the Local Finance Commitee in its March 1 session to explain further the proposed P5M for the kiosks for vendors at Burnham. – Rimaliza A. Opiña