‘Funds for Bangsamoro P36 B, not P75 B’
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Government officials clarified anew yesterday there is no P75-billion funding or “over financing” for the proposed Bangsamoro government since only around P10 billion would be added to the current budget for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the first two years once the bill to create it is passed.

Based on their presentation, government peace panel chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, peace panel member Senen Bacani and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said even without the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the annual block grant for ARMM in 2016 would be P26.8 billion and P32 billion in 2017.

Its share in the national internal revenue tax collection would be P2 billion for each year.

With the BBL, an additional Special Development Fund (SDF) of P7 billion in 2016 would be given to the Bangsamoro government and P2 billion in 2017.

The P1-billion funding for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority would only be given once in 2016.

All in all, the officials said the Bangsamoro government would get P36.8 billion in 2016 once created and P36 billion in 2017 or a total of P72.8 billion.

Ferrer said this was not really huge when compared to what residents of “Imperial Manila” and other regions were getting in terms of budget allocation per capita or per individual person.

She said P75 billion appeared shocking, as initial reports implied the amount would be given all at once to the new Bangsamoro government.

Bacani pointed out the SDF for the Bangsamoro government would be P2 billion each for the next five years or a total of P17 billion.

He added the block grant was only a new term to replace the annual subsidy for ARMM, which had been existing in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

According to Bacani, the P24.3 billion could be found in the 2015 GAA and that P900 million was added because of the pension fund or a total amount of P25.2 billion.

“This will be replaced by the block grant in 2016 that is P26.8 billion.

It was stated in the Bangsamoro Basic Law that the block grant is four percent of 60 percent of the net internal revenue collections. The base year is 2013, the estimated net BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) collection is about P1.1 trillion (and) 2.4 percent of that is P26.8 billion. That replaces the P24.3 (billion) plus P900 (million), so P25.2 (billion),” Bacani said.

Bacani explained the P75 billion came from a “mix” of everything, including the existing budget for ARMM.

“The internal revenue allotment for the different local government units will continue regardless of whether you have a Bangsamoro Basic Law or not. Actually, even the share in the national revenue tax collection will still be there. The only thing that happened there is from the previous law of 70 percent share, it became 75 percent,” he said.

 

ACIRC AUTONOMOUS REGION BACANI BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BANGSAMORO TRANSITION AUTHORITY BILLION BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT GOVERNMENT IMPERIAL MANILA
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