“Gone are the days when local governments had to beg for funding from national government agencies to be able to implement projects just because their Internal Revenue Allotments are insufficient. This year funds are downloaded to all cities and municipalities, regardless of political affiliations, through the Bottom-Up Budgeting. And come next year, Barangays will have their share of funds from the coffers of the national government through the Barangay BUB.”

 

 This was the statement of Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mel Senen S. Sarmiento during the rounds of Barangay BUB Planning Workshops in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and Surigao City, Surigao del Norte last March 4 and 5, respectively, conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management.

A similar activity was conducted for Butuan City and Agusan del Norte in March 3, but Sec Sarmiento was unable to join the group.

Other cabinet secretaries briefly joined the Barangay BUB Planning Workshop, coming from their separate activity for the People’s Dialogue for the administration’s Daang Matuwid program. Department of Health Secretary Janet Garin announced the upcoming programs of the DOH for the Barangays during the Agusan del Norte leg in LJ Mega, Butuan City on March 3, and Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad personally explained the rationale and background of the Barangay BUB in the Surigao del Norte leg in Simtoco Building, Surigao City.

In attendance during the three separate activities were the 86 Punong Barangays of Butuan City and 167 of Agusan del Norte; 314 of Agusan del Sur; and 335 of Surigao del Norte, respectively, together with the City and Municipal Local Government Operations Officers of the three DILG Provincial Offices concerned. They were personally welcomed by the governors of each of the three provinces who also gave the statements of purpose, i.e. Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba of Agusan del Norte, Gov. Adolph Edward G. Plaza of Agusan del Sur, and Gov. Sol F. Matugas of Surigao del Norte.

The primary discussant in the sessions was Executive Director Karen Villanueva of the DBM’s Meaningful and Direct Downloads. Director Villanueva discussed in detail the mechanics on how the Barangays can access the Barangay BUB funding in 2017 by working out this year the requirements of the program.

Director Villanueva noted that for the first round, only about 12,000 of the 42,035 barangays (or 30%) in the whole country can access the fund in 2017 and emphasized the criteria for selection of the qualified barangays are: (1) compliance to the Barangay Full Disclosure Policy; (2) presence of Barangay Development Plan; (3) conduct of participative barangay assembly; and (4) capacity to implement and their track record in leadership and financial management.

 

“We wanted to show the people before this administration ends, that it is indeed possible for the funds of the National Government to be downloaded directly to the barangays who being at the frontline are the ones who know the plight and conditions of the constituents; and that all this, along with the numerous projects being implemented by the national government without having the need to increase taxes, is possible because of the greatly improving national economy we are enjoying. This is the result of this administration’s fight against corruption. This is the result of Daang Matuwid.” Director Villanueva ended.

During the series of sessions, 40 former rebels from Agusan del Sur were presented to Sec Sarmiento and awarded their checks for Immediate and Livelihood Assistance under the  Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the DILG and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); and in Surigao City, the Credit Advice in the amount of 74 million pesos was handed by Sec Sarmiento to Cong. Francisco T. Matugas, in behalf of Gov. Matugas, for their provincial road concreting projects  under the Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan ang Daan tungo sa pangkalahatang kaunlaran (KALSADA Program) of the DILG.

 

Working at the helm of the implementation in Caraga Region were DILG Caraga Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion and DBM Caraga Regional Director Achilles Gerard C. Bravo and their teams. 

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