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Taguig city gov’t pays debts

MAYOR Cayetano

MAYOR Cayetano

The Taguig City government ended 2018 on a high note as it officially became a debt-free local government unit for 2019.

A total of P1,226,609,848 in loans plus P388,859,293 in interest was incurred under the previous administration which Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano’s administration fully paid as of Dec. 7, 2018, said Atty. Voltaire Enriquez, officer in charge of the City Treasury Office.

“We pre-terminated all our loans with LandBank because, by the end of 2018, Mayor Lani wanted that the next administration would not have to suffer the same fate she suffered when she took on the administration in 2010,” he noted.

According to Enriquez, to wipe clean the debt slate of the local government, the Cayetano administration set aside funds annually for the debts.

In 2011, P220 million of the P3.745-billion total budget allotted to Taguig went to debt payment.

Eyeing a debt-free status, the city government avoided luxury and made sure funds were used efficiently, said Enriquez.

“Take this example from the previous administration: Imported mobile garbage bins that cost a debt of over P100 million. We did not engage in those things.”

Despite this objective of becoming debt-free, the Cayetano administration did not allow this to happen at the cost of delivery of efficient and more expansive services.

The administration continued to prioritize essentials, such as health, education and social services.

The P5-million budget of the previous administration for scholarship was increased by P100 million yearly from 2011 to 2016. In 2018, the budget for scholarship was at P650 million.

Because of this investment, more than 47,000 post-high school scholars were able to have access to free education in about 200 colleges and universities.