DILG to grant P2 B to CAR for anti-poverty projects
MANILA, Philippines – The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is set to receive a budget of over P2 billion ($44.7 million) for poverty reduction projects lined up for the next two years.
The anti-poverty projects were identified through the Grassroots Participatory Budget Process (GPBP). According to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, two cities – Baguio and Tabuk– and 52 local government units (LGUs) will get a total of P809,683,750 (around $18 million) for 2014.
For 2015, the two cities will be granted a budget cap of P50 million ($1.1 million) each or a total of P1.225 billion ($27.4 million). Meanwhile, all municipalities are each entitled to a budget of P15 million ($340,000).
Introduced in 2013, the GPBP aims to ensure that the annual budget preparation and legislation will address hyperlocal poverty-reduction needs of different localities.
Poverty reduction initiatives
Facilitated by the DILG, project implementation and monitoring will be conducted by a partnership between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs). (Read: DILG to prioritize Yolanda areas for anti-poverty projects)
For 2014, the national government has alllocated a total of P20.3 billion ($454 million) for 19,553 poverty alleviation projects. Around 1,226 LGUs identified the projects in cooperation with local civil society organizations.
Under the GBPB, municipalities are qualified to receive a maximum of P15 million while cities are entitled to a maximum of P50 million annually to fund local projects such as municipal water systems, livelihood projects, farm to market roads, irrigation systems, pre-planting and post-harvest facilities, agriculture production, processing and marketing, livestock raising, and plant propagation.
According to Roxas, the 2014 budget allocation for the Cordillera Administrative Region is as follows:
· Abra - P270 million ($6 million)
· Apayao - P60 million ($1.3 million)
· Benguet - P150 million ($3.4 million)
· Ifugao - P34.6 million ($774,000)
· Kalinga - P105 million ($2.4 million)
· Mountain Province - P90 million ($2 million)
In addition, the 2015 budget allocation for each province is:
· Abra – P405 million ($9 million)
· Apayao – P105 million ($2.4 million)
· Benguet – P205 million ($4.6 million)
· Ifugao - P165 million ($3.7 million)
· Kalinga - P155 million ($3.5 million)
· Mountain Province – P150 million ($3.4 million)
The bulk of the P20-billion budget allocated under the GPBP is sourced from the Department of Agriculture (P9.286 billion), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (P2.638 billion), the DILG (P2.476 billion), the Department of Education (P1.449 billion), and the Department of Health (P1.355 billion).
The Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) of the DILG will also grant a P1-million incentive fund for municipalities, P3 million for cities and P7 million for provinces. The PCF scheme aims to incentivize LGUs to perform.
In addition to the anti-poverty initiatives, DILG also allocated around P6,405,256 for water and potable water supply projects, mostly in the Mountain Province.
Problems in implementation?
Start-up problems, however, occurred during the first 3 years of the GPBP implementation. For instance, only 874 projects have been completed in 2013, leaving 2,283 projects underway. Some 2737 projects are still unobligated or have yet to be implemented. President Benigno Aquino III and the Congress already extended the implementation of unobligated projects to 2014.
The DILG hopes that the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), an improved version of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH), will strengthen accountability among LGUs to ensure greater compliance in implementation and monitoring.
Under the PCF, an estimated P70 million will be given to “performing” LGUs. The PCF is an incentive fund given to qualified LGUs conferred with the SGLG.
The number of cities and municipalities covered by GPBP also doubled from 595 to 1226, for the 2013 and 2014 budget. – With a report from Vanessa Cabacungan/Rappler.com
(Editor's note: We initially indicated that the Cordillera Administrative Region is expected to receive P20 billion for anti-poverty projects in the headline. We regret the error.)
Photo of houses near the Rice Terraces from Shutterstock.