CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Congressional representatives in northern Mindanao supported the budget proposals of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-10 for fiscal year (FY) 2024 during the RDC-10 Advisory Committee meeting, March 17, here, via Zoom.
The meeting enlisted the support of all Region 10 congresspersons and generated their priority programs and projects (PAPs) for inclusion in the FY 2024 budget proposals of agency regional offices and other government agencies. The proposed PAPs were duly endorsed by the four RDC-10 Sector Committees during their March 8–13 meetings.
RDC-10 Chairperson and Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo presided over the meeting, with Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez as co-convenor.
Dimaporo highlighted the role of the congresspersons in ensuring that investments in the region are geared towards an equitable recovery. She emphasized that the budget exercise is a chance to invest in fundamental change.
“The pandemic reminded us to veer away from business as usual, that we reevaluate everything we do, including on how we budget amid tight fiscal space,” she said.
RDC-10 Vice Chairperson and NEDA-10 Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño presented the status of funding for the RDC-10 endorsed FY 2023 regional budget proposals in the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA). Out of the total FY 2023 proposed budget of P339.24 billion, P116.32 billion, or 34.28 percent, was funded under the 2023 General Appropriations Act. Seventy percent, or 149 out of the 212 priority catalytic projects, were funded with a total amount of P25.08 billion.
A total of P24.7 billion in proposed budgets for FY 2023 were not considered by the agency’s central offices but made their way into the 2023 GAA due to the efforts of the Region 10 congresspersons.
With the consistently low approval rate of the regional proposed budget in the past years, the Committee pledged to support the revival of the Regional Budget Allocation Scheme (RBAS). The RBAS will respond to the concerns of RDCs about the huge gap between the actual budget allocation for the regions against the endorsed budgets and annual investment programs. Said scheme will allow RDCs to have direct control of resources to address the region’s immediate concerns or infuse investments that have a greater economic impact on regional development.
The Committee also supported the priority legislative agenda contained in the Northern Mindanao Regional Development Plan 2023–2028.
The positive turnout of said meeting was a manifestation of the strong partnership between the Region 10 congresspersons and the council, working towards a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay. (NEDA-10/PIA-10)