In preparation toward full devolution in FY 2024, the Bicol RDC conducted an annual briefing on investment programming and budgeting to stimulate the transition to full devolution and engage the stakeholders on better resource allocation. The activity was conducted on October 21, 2021 via videoconference with participation by about 185 representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), local government units (LGUs), the House of Representatives, and the private sector.

Three points were highlighted in this year’s briefing on investment programming and FY 2023 budgeting: (1) year-round submission of request of projects for inclusion in the RDIP; (2) consideration of the endorsement of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) where the project will be located in case the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has not acted on the proposal; and (3) action on devolved projects that local government unit (LGU) will refuse to implement.

NEDA Regional Director and RDC Vice Chairperson Agnes E. Tolentino said in her opening message, that “the review of the FY 2023 budget proposal is different now compared to previous years considering that there are programs, activities and projects (PAPs) that will be devolved to the LGUs as provided in the Executive Order No. 138 Series of 2021.” She also reminded the agencies to submit documents of PAPs for inclusion in the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) anytime within the year and prior to the RDC review of budget proposals. 

The activity also served as a forum to discuss proposed revisions in the Comprehensive Investment Programming Guidelines (CIPG). One of which is the consideration of the municipal or city resolution or ordinance approving the projects in case the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has not acted on the request for endorsement after 30 days of receipt.

The implementation of the Mandanas ruling particularly on the Devolution Transition Plans and the PAPs that will be scaled down and/or phased out by the agencies were discussed.  It was emphasized that in the event that there is a refusal from an LGU to implement devolved projects, the issue will be raised to the Regional Committee on Devolution for deliberation.  Guidance of the National Devolution Committee may be sought on this matter.

The CIPG requires that PAPs in the proposed budget of the agencies must be in the RDIP. These projects support the Bicol Regional Development Plan, contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, and are aligned with the regional priorities. The investment priorities for FY 2023 include the Regional Recovery Program for COVID-19, Recovery Cluster Action Plan, Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for Tropical Cyclones Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses, Peace and Development Program, Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program, and the Regional Core Projects. The Regional Core Projects promote economic and social recovery, smart infrastructure, innovation and climate change.

With increased awareness on the processes, timelines, documentary requirements, the RDC expects an increased number of projects in the region that will be funded by the FY 2023 General Appropriations Act.

NEDA Regional Director and RDC Vice Chairperson Agnes E. Tolentino gives her opening
message during the briefing on investment programming and budgeting on October 21, 2021.
Atty. Gieza R. Esparraguerra of NEDA Region 5 presents the documentary requirements for the inclusion of projects in the Regional Development Investment Program.
Ms. Jennifer Barcoma of DBM Region 5 highlights the programs, projects and activities that will be scaled down/phased out by the national government agencies.