Duterte admin to drop expanded BUB program – Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration is dropping the expanded version of the grassroots program, Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) used by its predecessor, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced on Thursday, July 14.
Diokno said in a news briefing on the proposed 2017 national budget that the expanded BUB program of the previous administration was nothing but a "political tool," state-owned PTV4 reported.
Sec Diokno says no BuB (bottom-up-budgeting) in 2017 budget bec it is a political tool by the administration https://t.co/Jtpjfhusq5— People's Television (@PTVph) July 14, 2016
The BUB is a program initiated by the Aquino administration that allowed local groups, usually led by nongovernmental organizations, to consult with communities and pick from a list of projects to implement.
It originally covered only the poorest municipalities, but has since been expanded to include other areas as well. Diokno wants to revert it to the original area of coverage, as envisioned by the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo.
In April 2016, the budget department, then headed by Secretary Florencio Abad, announced that funding for 2017 BUB-proposed projects totaled P35 billion.
As of April, the program has funded about 14,325 projects from 1,514 cities and municipalities.
Amid concerns that the BUB would be scrapped altogether, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Vice Chairperson Ruperto "Ka Uper" Aleroza, defended the program, saying that it has benefited the poorest towns in the country.
"Stopping the program will have a huge impact on the projects that have already been started in poor communities," Aleroza told Rappler in Filipino.
As an example, Aleroza cited the shelter program funded under BUB which will benefit fisherfolk living in 22 coastal towns that are vulnerable to disaster hazards.
"Under BUB, the process is inclusive. It involves villages and civil society in the decision-making process," Aleroza added, addressing comments from the Duterte administration that the program has been politicized.
He gave assurances that the program has built-in mechanisms that protect it from corruption, such as a grievance system from the regional to the national levels.
A partner agency in the implementation of the program, NAPC ensures civil society and other stakeholders participate in planning, implementing, and monitoring the projects.
The representatives of 14 sectors under NAPC are pushing for the continuation of the program in its present form, according to Aleroza.
They are meeting new NAPC convenor Liza Maza on July 20 to present a resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte to sustain the program that has been expanded to include almost all towns and, eventually, villages. – Rappler.com