The city government is working to become debt-free by 2022.
Mayor Sara Duterte, in her State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday, said they are trying to optimize revenue-raising schemes to have extra money to pay off existing debts.
“Debt servicing is nearing completion, which will basically make the city debt-free in 2022,” the mayor said in her SOCA.
Based on the data provided by the City Information Office, by year 2020, the city’s debt is projected to hit P274, 171, 271.81.
On the same year, the city appropriated P128,149, 841.69 for payment, which would leave the local government with a balance of P146, 021, 430.12 at year-end.
For year 2021, the appropriation for debt payment is P98,329, 191.82, leaving a total debt balance of P47,692,238.30.
“We have debts that have been started in different years and we are working to pay all those,” said Duterte during the press conference after the SOCA.
“On our projection, given our regular payment of the principal and interest, by 2022, we will be done paying all our loans,” she said.
The projection of being debt-free after three years is, according to the Mayor, an indicator of a healthier economy of the city, which goes along with growth in investment and increased revenues.
The City Council has approved an P8.8 billion annual budget for 2019. On Oct. 15, however, lawmakers approved on first reading the proposed P10.3 billion annual budget for 2020.
The mayor also said that they intend to be fully independent of the internal revenue allotment by trying to find ways to increase local funding sources. For instance, the city registered an 11% increase in revenue collection, from the 4.9 billion through June 2018 to P5.5 billion in June 2019.