Cordillera needs P89 billion for 2020 priority projects

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BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-CAR) reported the different line agencies and state universities and colleges (SUCs) need at least P88.9 billion from the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget next year to bankroll the implementation of their priority projects formally endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC).

However, DBM-CAR regional director Irene Gahid explained to the members of the RDC Advisory Committee that because of the absence of the government’s national expenditure program, the actual share of the Cordillera cannot still be determined as the program is currently undergoing refinement in the agency’s central office in preparation for its submission to Congress anytime before August 22, 2019.

Under the 2019 annual budget, the different regional line agencies and SUCs submitted a total of P89.6 billion worth of priority projects for funding but the region only accessed some P27.6 billion in actual funding support, only  31 percent of the funds requested.

For next year, the regional line agencies proposed more than P86.3 billion worth of projects for funding while the SUCs submitted over P3.6 billion worth of projects for possible funding.

The DBM-CAR official pointed out the provision of the budget for personal services shall be based on National Budget Memorandum No. 131 or the national budget call for fiscal year 2020 while capital outlay shall be evaluated on Sections 4.2.4 of Budget Memorandum No. 132 or the budget priorities framework which will be based on implementation readiness that includes the completion of the project within the year; absorptive capacity or budget utilization rate; consistency with the budget priorities framework, Philippine Development Plan results matrix and agency’s strategic plan and with submitted indicative annual procurement plan.

She explained the approved capital outlay for SUCs under Tier 2 include all completion of projects for buildings and other structure outlays categorized under academic, scientific, laboratory or others; all ongoing projects for buildings and other structure outlays categorized under academic, scientific, laboratory or others; all upgrading or rehabilitation or repair or renovation or improvement of existing buildings and other structure outlays categorized under academic, scientific, laboratory or others and new construction project of student dormitories, one dorm per SUC.

According to her, the details of the national expenditure program will be made available to the concerned regional line agencies and SUCs as soon as the same will be released by their central office upon submission of the 2020 proposed national budget to Congress for the conduct of the required deliberations.

Gahid added the government will embark on the cash-based budgeting starting next year as the same could not be fully implemented this year because of the delayed approval of the budget by Congress.

By HENT

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