Budget Sec. Butch Abad returned to the province on Thursday for a two-day Â consultative forum on bringing Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) down to barangays. He was with four other cabinet secretaries.
Abad explained the concept of BUB began in 2012, anchored on President Noynoy Aquino’s vision of inclusive growth, empowered communities, and a strong democracy.
The goals can be achieved throughÂ Â the concept of a budget that reflects the real needs of the people on the ground including Â building of basic infrastructure with basic personnel complement, capacity building, and allocation of resources to address primary needs, he said.
Abad also presented timelines and requirements for the implementation of BUB at the barangay level. The consultation forum prepares barangay officials for the implementation of P24.7billion worth of Barangay BUB projects in 14,000 pilot barangays in 2017.
The Pnoy administration underscores decentralization and strengthened local autonomy in efforts to bring development brought about by the current robust economy to the ground.
Abad was Â joined by fellow cabinet members of the Pnoy administration:Â Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sec. Dinky Soliman and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mel Sarmiento, Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Janette Garin, and later on Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson for the launch of the KALSADA program.
Said to be the most trusted cabinet members, they delivered a clear message that development boils down to economic affairs.They were welcomed by Governor Edgar Chatto and Vice Governor Concepcion Lim.
Impact of a strong economy
They said the robust economy of the Philippines, which is now known as the “Strong Man of South East Asia”, allows for the availability of resources to bring development down to the ground, which also translates to improved lives of the people in the community, all while capacitating barangay leaders and holding them accountable.
Abad says this is a showcase of true democracy where people identify and prioritize their needs, are able to get resources from government, and are empowered to effectively implement projects.
Cabinet secretaries presented national government programs in respective agencies that local chief executives can take advantage of.
According to Abad, Bohol enjoys one of the most dramatic increases in IRA with P2billion in 2010 to P6.8billion in 2016. The IRA is also set for direct downloading from the National Treasury to local governments beginning January.
Soliman, for her part, reported DSWD accomplishments such as the Pantawid Pamilya program which has benefited 57,179 families across 1,088 barangays in Bohol.
Fastracking the Shelter Program
She also brought in DSWDÂ Asec. Velma Cabrera as they bring in reinforcement for the core shelter program in the desire of national and provincial to fulfill its commitment to complete core shelter houses for earthquake victims.
Of the 8,083 validated totally damaged houses, 4,536 Habitat for Humanity represented by CEO Charlie Ayco has committed to complete while International Organization for Migration represented by Project Officer Conrad Navidad willÂ help in the construction of 3,547 core shelters.
Soliman directed IOM to begin immediately and show completed core shelters within 2 weeks and also ordered both Habitat for Humanity and IOM to come up with a gun chart to monitor progress of implementation as well as to quickly report any problem in the implementation.
Mayors of the 17 hard hit municipalities discussed with the shelter team concerns such as delivery of materials, availability of materials, counterpart, and cash for work components of the program to ensure fast tracking of the implementation.
The 2-day, 3-part consultative forum gathered barangay captains from all over the province and alsoÂ saw to the launching of the P6.5billion KALSADA program, a local roads and reform program culled from the Bohol experience and lobbied for by Chatto at national level through the local authoritiesâ€™ leagues.Â (Leah/EDCOM)