In response to continuing budget reforms that seek to ensure that the regional budget priorities are responsive to national and local needs, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 5 conducted the Technical Budget Review last January 17 to 19, 2023 at the RDC Hall, NEDA 5 Office. The budget review is an annual activity of the RDC pursuant to its mandate under Executive Order No 325, s. 1996 to review and endorse the annual budget proposals of the agency regional offices (AROs), government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

In his opening message, RDC Vice Chairperson and NEDA Regional Director Luis G. Banua underscored the importance of the budget review to ensure that the agency budget proposals support the objectives and sectoral priorities in the Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028. He highlighted that the RDC invited members of the House of Representatives (HoR) from the  Bicol Region as panel members to ensure the alignment and synergy of the budget proposals of the AROs, SUCs, and GOCCs towards better resource allocation. Due to limited fiscal space, he reminded the agencies to ensure the implementation-readiness of their projects for their inclusion in the FY 2024 budget.

DBM Regional Director Maria Angelita Cells announced that the agency has issued National Budget Memorandum No. 145 or the National Budget Call, signaling the preparation of the FY 2024 budget proposal. The budget call shall provide full support to infrastructure development, i.e. the “Build Better More” program, as well as digital and social infrastructure. She highlighted the revival of the Medium-Term Information and Communication Technology Harmonization Initiative (MITHI) Steering Committee and enjoined agencies on the prudent use of the government’s limited resources in preparing their budget proposals.

During the three-day activity, the budget proposals of 39 RLAs/GOCCs and nine SUCs were deliberated before the panel members composed of the representatives of key agencies (Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Science and Technology, Public Works and Highways, Trade and Industry; Climate Change Commission, Commission on Higher Education, and National Economic and Development Authority), local government units (provincial and city), RDC Private Sector Representatives (PSR), and members of the HoR In closing, NEDA Assistant Regional Director Edna Cynthia S. Berces thanked the agencies for accepting the challenge of having their budget proposal scrutinized by the RDC. She also reminded the agencies of the submission of the revised budget proposals for approval by the Bicol RDC and subsequent endorsement to DBM and agency central offices and Congress. She likewise thanked the members of the panel of reactors for their invaluable contribution and guidance to ascertain the responsiveness of the agency budget proposals.

RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA 5 Regional Director Luis G. Banua delivers a welcome message and DBM 5 Regional Director Maria Angelita Cells shares highlights of the FY 2024 National Budget Call during the RDC Bicol Technical Budget Review held on January 17 to 19, 2023 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City
Representatives from various regional line agencies, state universities and colleges, government-owned- and/or -controlled corporations, members from the House of Representatives present their FY2024 budget proposals for technical review
Members of the Panel of Reactors scrutinize the FY 2024 agency budget proposals.

Argel Joseph S. Tria/NEDA5