Only projects endorsed by RDC have budget
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - February 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado has stressed that a Regional Development Council (RDC) endorsement is required in the government projects to be undertaken for it to land to the 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

Avisado attended the RDC-7 first quarter full council meeting at Mezzo Hotel yesterday.

He highlighted that the RDC validated programs, projects, and activities will be endorsed to the agency's central offices for the inclusion in the budget proposals for 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

"Gusto nato i-emphasize nga obligasyon kani sa RDC na paningkamutan nga kaning tanang atong ginatuki diri ug gina-recommend didto sa taas particularly sa mga departments will find their way to the NEP," said Avisado.

It is the DBM that prepares the NEP.

NEP is submitted to assist Congress in the review and deliberation of the proposed national budget for the legislation of the annual appropriations measures for the next fiscal year. It contains the details of the government's proposed programs.

Avisado said the RDC endorsement will be required in all locally funded projects that will be included in fiscal year 2020 NEP.

It is also for the same reason, he said, why the role of the RDC was again highlighted when they issued in January this year the guidelines on the release of funds under the fiscal year 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), which contain among others the need for "RDC endorsement of Congress introduced and new budgetary items that were not initially included in the NEP."

"Ako naman nakikiusap sa inyo wag nyong tatanggihan yung mga projects na yan. I-endorse nyo yan dahil masasayang yung pera. Pinaglaban natin yan na kahit na papano ma-implement pa rin... ang amin lang idadaan sa proseso. Dahil lahat naman po nasa NEP," he said.

"We will be working hand-in-hand with RDC-7 to ensure that only projects that will be endorsed land to the NEP and eventually to the GAA. Basta naa sa NEP comprehensive release gyud na," he added.

He also assured the RDC-7 that they recognize their efforts and ensured them that their voices are heard in the national budget process.

Avisado said the RDC-7 will once again embark into a challenge in the task of reviewing budget proposals of the regional agencies in ensuring it is complementary with existing short, medium, and long term socio-economic development plans of the region.

He said the function of the RDC is specifically highlighted under Memorandum Circular No. 54 issued by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004, which strengthens the RDC’s function on the review and endorsement to the national government's budget, to ensure both the vertical and horizontal linkages of their interventions are all geared towards a shared vision of a more peaceful and progressive Philippines.

He also mentioned that in the fiscal year 2020 GAA, Region 7 received the fifth largest share of regionalized items in the budget at around P131.6 billion.

However, records from the RDC also showed that only 729 out of 2,444 Programs, Activities and Projects (PAPs) or 29.83 percent endorsed by RDC-7 landed in the fiscal year 2020 GAA.

"We consider the matter seriously as we recognize the important role of RDC in budget preparation and processes. This is why we specifically emphasize the need for RDC endorsement when they issued the national budget poll for fiscal year 2021," said Avisado.  GAN (FREEMAN)

WENDEL AVISADO
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