CDO capable of paying P2.7-B dev't loan: exec

By Stephen Capillas

November 17, 2023, 8:58 pm

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The city government is capable of paying off its PHP2.7 billion loan worth of development projects, an official said Friday.

In a statement, City Budget Officer Roxanne Mae Ravidas said the local government is well within its debt service ceiling to fund the city government complex and development of its eco-tourism site.

"The city government has an existing PHP1 billion loan, and we proposed the PHP2.7 billion for next year (to the City Council), bringing it to PHP3.7 billion," Ravidas said.

Ravidas said the proposed amount is below the city’s debt service ceiling of PHP7 billion.

She said the PHP2.7 billion loan being negotiated by the city government with the Land Bank of the Philippines is included in the PHP11.2 billion budget set aside for 2024.

At least PHP1.5 billion will be used to acquire the 299,043 square-meter property at Sitio Upper Dagong, Barangay Carmen where the new city government complex will rise.

In paying off the loan, Ravidas said the city’s 20 percent development fund should be considered.

"The city’s 20 percent development fund for next year is PHP500 million. We have a two-year grace period (for the new loan) and even with our existing loan, our per annum is below the P500 million 20 percent development fund," she explained.

A local government’s 20-percent development fund is sourced from its National Tax Allotment (NTA), formerly known as Internal Revenue Allotment.

For 2024, Ravidas said the city’s NTA amounts to PHP2.5 billion or 22.33 percent of the city’s revenue sources -- slightly above the PHP2.359 billion received by the city this year.

The annual increase was due to the Supreme Court's 2018 ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case, filed by then-Batangas province congressman (now governor) Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan governor Enrique Garcia in 2013, concerning the computation of the local governments’ revenue share from the national government. (PNA)