The RDC sectoral committees (SecComs) conducted consecutive meetings from February 4 to 8 to review the FY 2020 budget proposals of the regional line agencies and state universities and colleges (SUCs). Under each sectoral committee, the heads of agencies and the SUC Presidents presented their proposed budget in the presence of representatives from the Department of Budget and Management, presidents of the leagues of provinces, cities and barangays, the RDC geographic and sectoral representatives, as well as representatives from the offices of Bicol Congressmen. The budget review proved to be an important exercise in the investment and budgeting mandate of the RDC as enunciated in EO 325 (s. 1991) since it is geared towards aligning the PAPs with the RDP sectoral priorities.
Sectoral Committees of the Bicol Regional Development Council reviews the FY Budget Proposals of regional line agencies and SUCs during the first quarter meetings on February 4, 6, 7 and 8 at NEDA Region 5, Arimbay, Legazpi City.
“It is important that we sit together to discuss the budget proposals of agencies and SUCs to see how our PAPs complement and support that of another government instrumentality and thereby avoid working in silos. This undertaking could as well promote the convergence of services toward achieving efficiency in the bureacracy,” said NEDA Director Agnes E. Tolentino, concurrent RDC Vice-Chairperson. She emphasized the need to collaborate with other government agencies in implementing programs and projects for effective utilization of the national budget.
A total of PhP126.61 Billion worth of PAPs was proposed to be included in the FY 2020 for the Bicol Region. The infrastructure sector gets the biggest slice of the regional budget proposal requiring PhP 64.93 Billion followed by the social sector with PhP 56.89 Billion, the economic sector with PhP13.59 Billion, and development administration sector with PhP52 Million budgetary requirement. The amounts involved shall be revised based on the recommendations and comments of the SecCom prior to RDC endorsement.
Duplication of functions of line agencies, e.g. the provision of services and the implementation of farm-to-market road projects was noted during the review. Between DOST and DTI, their similar services in terms of product development and packaging of processed goods posted the need to streamline the services.
Other issues that were noted include: (1) there were agencies with “centrally- managed items” where it is the agency central office that identifies projects for the region; (2) some agencies wait for the budgetary ceiling from their central office which delays submission; and (3) there are projects that are not endorsed by the RDC but are in the National Expenditure Program.
The Secretariat intends to pursue the Annual investment Program as a strategy to further improve the budgeting process. It intends to encourage more stakeholder participation both from the public and the private sectors to arrive at meaningful and responsive services.