By Mortz c. Ortigoza
URDANETA CITY- The mayor of this premier city in Region 1 said despite the absence of tobacco excise tax, Urdaneta still remained No.1 in fiscal appropriation, partly because of the revenues from its university.
Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV said the millions of peso- yearly profits derived by the Urdaneta City University is automatically included in this city’s general appropriation.
Urdaneta has an approved appropriation of P641 million for fiscal year 2012 compared to Dagupan City that has proposed budget of P P581 million which can be subject to some slash by city council.
Urdaneta City councilor Jennilyn Sison said the UCC earns an average of P25 million yearly
“That is why we have many projects like the gymnasium, library, and structures. The funds all come from the UCU,” Perez said.
The mayor added that despite the decline of its college’s population because of the sluggish global demand for nurses, UCU still accommodates thousands of students who usually come from the marginalized sector.
Perez said it is not Dagupan that follows this city in terms of a high fiscal appropriation for this year but a city in the Ilocos Region.
According to the Ilocos Sentinel, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte has an approved budget of P600 million last year. Its 2012 appropriation is still being deliberated.
Perez said this city is not a recipient of the tobacco excise tax that unlike neighboring Villasis town, and cities in Ilocos which receive millions of pesos tobacco excise taxes.
Meanwhile, Perez said the newly installed huge flat screen TV monitor in his office and the
closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras set up at major thoroughfares and places here, were purchased for only P1.5 million.
He said it was a cheap buy compared to other cities where similar CCTV was purchased for P30 million and most of them are already unusable.
Photo by Ian Marson Sumera Rañada