QUEZON CITY – Some sixteen regional line agencies (RlAs) and six state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Cordillera will be receiving over P44.1 billion worth of funded programs, projects and activities under the proposed P3.757 trillion national budget next year which is now undergoing deliberations in the House of Representatives.
Based on the presentation made by Department of Budget and Management–Cordillera officer-in-charge Irene Gahid during the Advisory Committee meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) at the Ramon Mitra conference room here, the P44.1 billion which will be equitably distributed to the 16 RLAs and 6 SUCs represents 56 percent of the over P78.4 billion projects endorsed by the RDC-CAR for funding to the different government agencies and the SUC next year.
For 2018, Cordillera was able to get some P45.2 billion worth of projects, programs and activities lodged with the RLAs and the SUCs which represent 37 percent of the total P120.7 billion RDC endorsed projects to the different government agencies.
The RDC-CAR Advisory Committee meeting is a regular undertaking of the region’s policy-making body to consult with lawmakers from the region in relation to the priority programs and projects that should be given priority funding by the different government agencies in the region for the upcoming fiscal year.
President during the meeting were Benguet Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. and Kalinga Rep. and Mountain Province Caretaker Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang while the RDC-CAR executive committee members who attended the meeting were chairman Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. and the different regional directors representing their respective agencies.
Gahid explained the data on the budget of the regional line agencies in the region was culled out from the National Expenditure program (NEP) submitted by the budget department to Congress for approval.
She claimed that one of the factors considered by the budget department in the grant of the appropriations for the different departments is based on the absorptive capacity of a certain agency pursuant to the government’s current cash-based budgeting which is a shift to the previous obligation-based budgeting.
However, Gahid explained that there are still available lump sum budgets lodged with the different agencies where the Cordillera could access additional funding support based on the results of the on-going budget deliberations that is why the P44.1 billion initially allocated to the different regional line agencies could be increased in the final version of the budget.
The RDC-CAR endorses the various priority programs, projects and activities of the different regional line agencies and state universities and colleges to their central offices for consideration and appropriate action to ensure that the priority programs that must be implemented in the region will be the ones that will be provided the required funding for implementation in the succeeding fiscal year.
By Dexter A. See