Celso supports bigger budget for DA, DILG in Mindanao Print
Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:43

Committee on Appropriations vice-chairman and Congressman Celso Lobregat expressed support on the proposed appropriation of bigger budget for the Department of Agriculture and Department of interior and Local Government for Mindanao in 2019.

CongressmanLobregat sad that Mindanao funding should be increased from its present budget to ensure the economic growth, sustainable and inclusive development of the entire region.

Lobregat, who is at the same time a member for the majority of the Committee on Mindanao Affairs, said that additional increase in Mindanao’s 2019 budget would spur more growth and investments in social services and peace-building and to ensure further growth in agricultural productivity and reduce poverty incidence in the region.

Being in the pipeline of President Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Program, Lobregat said that Zamboanga City received some P2.845 Billion worth of infrastructure, and this does not yet include Outside Projects. Once the funding for these outside projects are downloaded to DPWH the amount for 2018 projects will be well over P3-Billion for projects in District 1 alone.

Based on records, the DA allocation for Mindanao this year is only 17.36 percent of the agency’s total budget in 2018, which is even lower than the region’s allocation of 19.9 percent in 2017, and also, only 3.0 percent of the DILG’s 2017 national budget went to Mindanao, compared to 92 percent for Luzon.

At present, the Committee on Mindanao Affairs of which Congressman Lobregat is a member, is now conducting an evaluation whether if the system adopted by DA and its attached agencies is indeed effective in terms of allowing farmers easy access to the department’s programs and projects. – Dexter Yap