ILOILO CITY posted a P400.7-million surplus from its 2021 accounts, which the local government said will be spent for projects that were not included in the original expenditure program for this year.

“Our City Accountant’s Office has identified a total of more than P400-million in surplus for last year. This is in addition to the surplus in the Local Economic Enterprise Office and the surplus in the Special Education Fund,” Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said in a statement over the weekend. 

The surplus came from P149.31 million in taxes above the expected collection, P237.11-million savings from personnel and operating expenses, and P14.27 million in accounts adjustment.

“I would like to thank the department heads and all employees of the City Government, and most especially the tax payers… This will allow us to fund additional projects for this year. This is also record-breaking considering that we are still under a pandemic,” Mr. Treñas said. 

The mayor, who is running for reelection in May, earlier said among the priority programs for this year include health services and facilities, expansion of emergency response centers, and projects aimed at boosting economic recovery.  

City Treasurer Jinny C. Hermano said the savings from operations and manpower costs could be attributed to “belt-tightening measures” undertaken due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We only limit our expenses within the appropriation. We did not spend too much that’s why we have savings.”  

On tax collections, he said, “We exceeded our target primarily on business taxes, P136-million; and real property taxes by at least P65-million.” 

The city government collected P2.91 billion in taxes last year. 

“The gains were the outcome of good financial management. We hope for another surplus this year as the city intends to re-implement its collection strategy while encouraging prudent spending,” Mr. Hermano said. — MSJ