Education, health, agri get bulk of Pampanga’s P1.7-B budget

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    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Nearly half of the Pampanga’s P1.7-billion budget for 2013 will go to education, health and agriculture.

    This, according to Senior Board Member Crisostomo Garbo, chair of the provincial board’s committee on finance and appropriations.  

    “Based on the current budget, the Pineda administration is gearing towards investing heavily on what’s important for Pampanga,” said Garbo, disclosing that 20 percent of the budget is allotted for education, 15 percent for health, and 10 percent to agriculture development.

    Garbo gave credit to the “sound fiscal management” instituted by Gov. Lilia G. Pineda and provincial administrator Atty. Andres Pangilinan Jr. for the “steady” yearly increase of the provincial budget since 2011.

    He also cited Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao and the other board members for “working cohesively as a team” in bringing about a “rationalized and service-oriented” budgeting process.

    The veteran board member disclosed that the Pineda administration started with P1.2-billion budget, increasing to P1.4 billion last year.

    “The good collection in local taxes, notably in the quarry industry, allowed us to raise our budget for the greater benefits of our people,” said Garbo .

    Until January 2013, the total quarry revenues collected under the Pineda administration reached P675,997,500, well on its way to record the highest-ever collection in the lucrative industry in a span of three years.   

    Priorities

    Third District Board Member Trina Dizon said women and children will “greatly benefit” from the priority projects of Pineda.

    “When kids can go to school and families have something on the table to eat, they will be productive members of the community. They only need some help when they get seriously sick and our hospitals are reliable,” said Dizon.

    Garbo said “between P600 million to P700 million” had been allotted for health projects since Pineda became governor in July 2010.

    Pineda, in her speech during a gathering of farmers in Lubao town, stressed that agriculture will be given even higher priority in 2013.

    The governor is implementing the Pampanga Agriculture Modernization Program  designed to improve the yield of farmers and fisherfolk until 2016.

    To open up further education opportunities for the Kapampangan youth, Pineda earlier signed a memorandum of agreement with the Don Honorio Ventura Technical State University for the establishment of a satellite campus in Sto. Tomas town which the provincial government will provide P3 million annually for its operations.

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