Gov’t allots P16.7B for city roads in 2017 – DBM

Aika Rey
Gov’t allots P16.7B for city roads in 2017 – DBM
According to the budget department, around P13.5 billion ($287.93 million) is allotted for KALSADA city projects while P3.2 billion ($68.25 million) will be used for the implementation of Bottom-Up Budgeting initiatives

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Tuesday, April 26, that funding for city roads has reached P16.7 billion ($356.3 million) for 2017.

The budget will be lodged under Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) and the Konkreto at Ayos na Lansangan at Daan Tungo sa Pangkalahatang Kaunlaran (KALSADA) program.

KALSADA is the current administration’s program that funds local road projects while BUB allows civic society groups, non-governmental organizations, and local government units (LGU) to pick projects they want the national government to fund.

“With the government expanding key programs such as BUB and KALSADA in the proposed 2017 budget, we support cities’ initiatives to fully achieve their mandates,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said in a statement.

Of the P16.7 billion ($356.3 million), P13.5 billion ($287.93 million) will be enjoyed by KALSADA city projects while P3.2 billion ($68.25 million) will be used for the implementation of BUB projects.

The entire funding for KALSADA projects and more than half of the BUB funds, or P19.7 billion ($419.71 million), will be directly released to local governments if good governance conditions are met and public financial management measures are implemented.

“It is worth noting that upon fulfillment of the performance and good governance criteria, we will release the funds directly to LGUs, which ultimately, will enable them to perform better and be more efficient in delivering public services,” the budget chief added.

Expanding KALSADA to cities

KALSADA was first implemented in 2016 to fund about 150 provincial road projects in 74 pilot provinces.

For this year, P6.5 billion ($138.57 million) has been allocated for the roads rehab program.

In a previous announcement by the budget department, proposed KALSADA budget for 2017 reached P39 billion ($831.32 million) to fund road projects in all 81 provinces, a sixfold increase from the current appropriation.

For next year, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) director for project development Rolyn Zambales told Rappler that the proposal includes funding local road projects by city governments.

“KALSADA is specific for roads that will primarily address connectivity and mobility. This will involve upgrading, improvement, and rehabilitation of city roads which are normally in central business district areas or the poblacion,” Zambales told Rappler in a text message.

She clarified that KALSADA is different from road projects which will be funded under BUB.

“BUB is multi-sectoral. It will address the needs of the community which includes local access, mostly improving access to remote barangays,” said Zambales.

Developing plans

According to the budget department, a total of 5,874 km of roads remain unpaved in cities, while 9,503 km are paved with 7,508 built on concrete and 1,995 km on asphalt.

Given limited funding, Abad said that cities will be able to complete their road network development plans with the support of the national government.

The City Road Network Development Plan is a 6-year plan to upgrade and rehabilitate some 6,000 kilometers of city roads by 2022. In 2017, the plan is to upgrade about 500 km of roads and improve some 200 km of city roads nationwide.

Targets for succeeding years will be at 800 km and 450 km, respectively. – Rappler.com

*1$ = P46.87

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.