July 21, 2019 at 09:20 pm
Rio N. Araja
Toward a better management of Quezon City’s fiscal affairs, Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the creation of a finance committee.
“As stated in my inaugural address, the fiscal affairs of Quezon City must be guided by the principles of transparency, prudence and accountability,” Belmonte said.
She issued Executive Order No. 5 pursuant to Section 316 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.
The finance committee members include City Administrator Michael Alimurung, Secretary to the Mayor Ricardo “RJ” Belmonte, City Treasurer Edgar Villanueva, the city budget officer, and City Planning and Development Officer Pedro Rodriguez.
Belmonte tasked the finance committee to determine the city income as “reasonably projected as collectible for the ensuing fiscal year,” assist the 37-member city council in the review and evaluation of the city’s 142 barangays’ budgets and analyze the annual regular and supplemental budgets.
The committee shall also recommend the appropriate tax and other revenue measures or borrowings which may be appropriate to support the budget; advise the mayor on the level of annual expenditures and the ceilings of spending for economic, social and general services based on the approved local development plans; and recommend to Belmonte the proper allocation of expenditures for each development activity between operating expenditures and capital outlays.
Belmonte also issued Executive Order No. 6 to pave the way for the creation of an education affairs department to strengthen the city’s education programs from early childhood to adult education.
“It is the declared policy of the city to give priority to education with the vision wherein citizens are prepared to pursue their dreams, positively participate in society and compete in the global economy,” the order read.
Meanwhile, the Quezon City government is eyeing an increase of human milk donations in the third quarter of 2019 to benefit more babies.
Dr. Shahani Duque, the city’s human milk bank head, said her agency would implement measures to raise awareness and increase the number of qualified milk donors.
Over 550 lactating mothers have donated milk from April to June, she said.
Only 80 percent or 49,680 milliliters of the total 63,485 milliliters (ml) of milk donated passed the pasteurization test, however.
At least 13,800 ml have been found to be infected and were discarded.
According to Duque, it is important to screen donor-moms to ensure they are not infected with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and other diseases that may be passed through breast milk.
As part of its objective, the milk bank recently held a milk-letting activity last July 15 to raise the number of donors and qualified milk donations.
Duque said the city-run Novaliches District Hospital will hold a milk-letting activity on Aug. 5 in celebration of Breastfeeding Month.