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ZAMBOANGA CITY--Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar expressed optimism as she announced the city government is now prepared to roll out the PHP4.2-billion executive budget for 2019.

“We are very thankful because we will be rolling out the PHP4.2 billion 2019 budget," Salazar said.

Salazar said this year’s budget includes increases in the allowances of 460 barangay health workers, 90 barangay nutrition scholars, 350 daycare workers and 980 "barangay tanods" (village watchmen).

The salary of janitorial and security services will also be increased in compliance with existing labor laws.

However, Salazar warned private security agencies serving the city government to pay their security guards on time lest the city will cancel their contracts.

This came after the mayor was informed that one of the security agencies providing protection services for the city was seven months delayed in paying the salary of its guards.

The 2019 budget likewise includes an appropriation for the implementation of the fourth tranche of the salary standardization law for all city government employees.

The amount of PHP25 million has been allocated for sports equipment, PHP20 million for the grandstand that will be opened this year; purchase of 700 television units for special education classes; PHP40 million for agricultural development; and PHP50 million for the tricycle modernization program.

Also allocated in the 2019 budget are increases in burial and medical assistance and other social services programs, free admission to cinemas for senior citizens, PHP18 million for senior citizens’ cash incentives, and continuation of the “Largo Vida (Long Life) Program” for the elderlies.

Appropriation for the anti-illegal drugs campaign has also been increased from PHP5 million to PHP10 million, while PHP6.88 million is set aside for the purchase of protective gears for barangay tanods.

Salazar said the city government will also purchase 10 fire trucks, 44 dump trucks, 46 garbage trucks, watercraft for island barangays, and PHP20 million for rain-water collectors for various government buildings. (PNA/PR)

Photo by Paulo Alcazaren/Philstar

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