RDC-9 approves DSWD twice-deferred ’16 budget PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 13:20

The Regional Development Council- Region 9 has finally approved the twice-deferred DSWD Field Office-9 proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016.

The 2016 budget proposal will now  be endorsed favorably to the Head Office whose proposed 2016 national budget will be submitted to Congress for review.

The favorable action by the RDC came about after no objection was raised during the voting by the RDC members following the deliberations.

Former Zamboanga City Councilor Rey Candido, who represented Congressman Celso L. Lobregat in the  meeting, opted not to object, but sought for inclusion and reiteration in the official record of the RDC the earlier manifestation of Lobregat that there are no recognized “MILF communities” in Zamboanga City.

It was this issue relating to the implementation by DSWD of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program (SBP) in 5 barangays in the city which the Office of the  Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) identified as “MILF communities” that prompted Lobregat to bring the issue to the RDC.

Lobregat’s objection caused the deferment of the approval of the DSWD FO-9 proposed 2016 budget in two previous RDC budget review sessions.

Candido, in clarifying his no-objection stand, said the move was to enable the RDC to dispose of the controversial budget, although the same will still be subject to review in Congress where Lobregat sits as vice chairman of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations.

RDC member Jose Suan also requested that all the manifestations expressed by Lobregat during the previous RDC sessions touching on the issue still require the response from DSWD. Mr. Suan, like Candido, also opted not to register objection to the approval of the DSWD FO-9 2016 proposed budget stating that the same will still be reviewed by Lobregat in Congress.

DSWD Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo explained that because of Lobregat’s objection and that of the local government, the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program was withdrawn from Zamboanga City and transferred to another area in the region.

In last Monday’s concluding budget review, the RDC also approved the 2016 proposed budget of the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and that of the Department of Agriculture. Presenting their respective proposed 2016 budgets were OIC Regional Director Constancio Alama of the Department of Agriculture and Regional Director Ahadulla Sajili of the BFAR.

According to RDC Acting Chairperson Teresita Socorro Ramos, NEDA Regional Director, the RDC had reviewed and approved the 2016 budget proposals of a total of 29 agencies in five separate sessions since March 15, this year. — Jubels Santos