Increase 2019 budget for Mindanao, solon appeals
The House of Representatives committee on Mindanao affairs has appealed for an increase in the 2019 budget of Mindanao after a congressional study bared that the country’s southern region had received a measly 16.2 percent of the National Budget for 2018.
In a media briefing on Wednesday, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. lamented how years of neglect had resulted to the “breakdown of peace and order” in the region.
Rodriguez cited a study conducted by the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House, concurred by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The study showed that only 16.2 percent of the National Budget was allotted to Mindanao for 2018, and the average share in 2014 to 2017 was only 12.8 percent.
“It is our appeal to all our Departments that Mindanao should receive its fair and equitable share of the National Budget due to the 40 percent poverty incidence, the highest in the country; a growing population of 26 million which is 1/4 of the Philippine population; for the development of the Island’s potential as the country’s food basket; and for peace to finally be achieved due to increase economic/socio activities to uplift poverty,” he added.
The lawmaker said they are appealing that at least 20 percent or 1.25 trillion of the national budget be allocated to Mindanao by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
Among the departments which have very low budget for Mindanao are:
- Department of Transportation, 1.62 percent
- Department of Information and Communications Technology, 1.65 percent
- Department of Tourism, 3 percent
- Department of Interior and Local Government, 3.02 percent
- Department of Labor and Employment, 10.35
- Department of Health, 10.42 percent
- Department of Science and Technology, 11.36 percent
- Department of Trade and Industry, 13.03 percent
- Department of Agriculture, 17.36 percent
Among the departments which delivered to Mindanao, according to Rodriguez, was the Department of Public Works and Highways with 31.22 percent, tripled from its budget from 2017 at 10.01 percent.
It was followed by the Department of Education with 23.47 percent from last year’s 21.15 percent; Department Social Welfare and Development at 24.67 percent from 24.34 percent; Department of Agrarian Reform with 21.49 percent from 21.12 percent; and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with 20.31 percent from 19.67 percent.
The committee with 60 Mindanao representatives passed a resolution last March 13 creating for the purpose of increasing Mindanao’s budget, eight technical working groups which would meet with different Departments during the recess of Congress. /je
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