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DBM junks Aquino admin’s bottom-up budgeting, calls it ‘political’ tool

/ 02:37 PM July 15, 2016
Budget Secretary Bejamin Diokno. CDN FILE PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

Budget Secretary Bejamin Diokno. CDN FILE PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to scrap the bottom-up budgeting (BUB) program introduced by the Aquino administration, saying it had become a tool to advance political interests.

“Unang-una napakalaki na ng Internal Revenue Allotment ng local government. I think halos umaabot ng half a trillion pesos. ‘Yung Internal Revenue Allotment ay automatically released sa kanila (First of all, their Internal Revenue Allotment for local government is so high. I think it amounts to almost half a trillion pesos. The Internal Revenue Allotment is automatically released to them). They don’t have to make a request in Malacañang or the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government). Darating na lang sa kanila ‘yun kada buwan,” DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno said over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

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(First of all, their Internal Revenue Allotment for local government is so high. I think it amounts to almost half a trillion pesos. The Internal Revenue Allotment is automatically released to them. They don’t have to make a request in Malacañang or the DILG. They just receive it every month.)

READ: You should like BuB, Palace tells Duterte | Gov’t allots P20.9B for bottom-up budgeting

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“Nung dumating ako dito, alam mo, nakalaan doon more than P100 billion sa BUB. Sabi ko: ‘Grabe naman ‘to.’ Gusto siguro nila patuloy ‘yung pamamayagpag ng LP dahil talagang pang-suhol naman nila ‘yun,” he added.

(When I arrived here, more than P100 billion was allotted for BUB. I said: This is too much. They probably want the LP to continue to reign because they really use it as a bribe.)

The BUB scheme, which started during the stint of the late Interior secretary Jesse Robredo, was a program of the previous administration which allowed local government units and civil society and community groups to pitch priority poverty-reduction projects to be funded by the annual national budget, in an effort to make the budget process more responsive and empowering to LGUs.

READ: DBM to recommend P3.35-T nat’l budget for 2017

But while admitting that the BUB scheme was a good concept, Diokno lamented that the program had veered away from its goal of funding only the poorest municipalities due to alleged abuse.

“Talaga namang obviously political ‘yun dahil unang-una, alam mo nung inumpisahan ‘yan ni Secretary Robredo, ang tawag dyan, i-focus lang doon sa mga depressed municipalities – 4th, 5th and 6th class. At ‘yun ay ibibigay sa’yo pagka meron kang seal of good housekeeping. Halimbawa, hindi ka nao-audit ng COA. [Ibig sabihin] maganda trabaho mo. May reward ka,” Diokno said.

(That’s obviously political because first of all, it was started by Secretary Robredo to focus on the depressed municipalities – 4th, 5th and 6th class. And that will be awarded to you if you have a seal of good housekeeping. For example, you have not been subject to COA auditing, that means you have a good record. You’ll be rewarded.)

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“Alam mo magandang konsepto ‘yun but you have to apply that as the local budget process. Kung anong ginagawa ng munisipyo, ng mayor ninyo dun sa budget, makialam ka dun. Halimbawa ‘yung siyudad, pwede ka ring makialam dun. You know when you’re talking of national budget, mahirap naman yun, 100 million na tao nakikialam sa budget process,” he added.

(It’s a good concept, but you have to apply that as the local budget process. Whatever your municipality, your mayor does to your budget, you have to know. For example, in the city, you could also get involved there. If you’re talking about the national budget, that would be difficult, 100 million people would be minding the budget process.)

Diokno said the DBM will recommend to Duterte a P3.35-trillion budget for 2017, a record-high over a tenth bigger than the present P3.002 trillion budget. He added that the administration will spend a record P890.9 billion on infrastructure next year to hike expenditures to up to 7 percent of the gross domestic product. With KC Tayam, trainee/CDG

READ: Duterte admin to spend P890.9B on infra next year

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Benjamin Diokno, bottom-up budgeting (BUB), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Rodrigo Duterte
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