By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
URDANETA CITY –The Urdaneta City University (UCU) is still the “goose that lays the golden egg” for the city coffer despite the decline of its enrolment in nursing course.
Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV said the UCU still churned out P150 million this year which was included in the city’s latest general appropriation fund.
The sum complemented the P637 million fiscal appropriations for year 2013 that made Urdaneta the highest earning city in Region 1. He explained that UCU earned more than P200 million a year in the past but due to the sluggish demand of Filipino nurses abroad, it settled to the P150 million mark.
But he said even the sum is included in the general fund, this city does not get any cent from it. “Sa kanila (UCU) na iyon. Part sa income (of the city) pero para sa kanila na lang iyon. Pumapasok lang sa general fund,” he stressed.
This city, known as an entrepot of cattle and vegetables in Northern Luzon, has an appropriation of P637 million that could reach to P700 million after it includes any supplemental budget for this year while neighboring Dagupan City and Laoag, major cities in Region 1, have to contend with P612 million and P575 million for fiscal year 2013 respectively.
Perez just laughed when hailed that this Carabao City eclipsed Laoag and Vigan cities in terms of the numbers game in the budget. The two local government units in the Ilocos are known for their vaunted share of the collection of tobacco excise tax that joined with their share of the Internal Revenue Allotment that boost significantly their annual budget.
“Kami wala pa, talagang ganyan,” he chuckled. Meanwhile, Perez said with only 50 percent of the business taxes collected last month, the business tax shot up to P5 million compared what it collected last year. “50% pa lang ang collected. Iyong iba hindi pa nakakabayad kasi ang iba quarterly (ang payment)”. He explained that despite the absences of any tax hike in the last ten years, this city’s tax collection efficiency increases every year.