DILG releases P133M for Bicol projects
MANILA, Philippines – Over P133.5 million will be given to local government units (LGUs) in the Bicol region, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said when he visited Legazpi City.
In a statement released Thursday, April 30, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the following were distributed:
- 11 checks worth P26 million to 9 Albay LGUs
- 3 checks worth more than P9.4 million to 2 Camarines Norte LGUs
- 22 checks worth almost P61 million to 16 Camarines Sur LGUs
- 5 checks worth almost P3 million to 3 Catanduanes LGUs
- 10 checks worth more than P27 million to 9 Masbate LGUs
- 7 checks worth almost P7 million to 6 Sorsogon LGUs
The funding will be used to finance local projects under the government’s “bottom-up budgeting” (BUB) process, the department added.
Roxas himself handed over checks to 9 Albay LGUs during a gathering of members of the Koalisyon ng Mamamayan Para sa Reporma (KOMPRe), a group that “[supports] leaders with unquestioned integrity and competence because reforms can only be sustained by upstanding appointed and elected public servants.”
The interior secretary said the BUB process, wherein locals pick priority projects from a set “menu,” is a “clear example” of the administation’s “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path).”
“Hindi politiko, hindi mga opisyal ng gobyerno ang nagsabi nito. Kayo ang nagsabi nito. Ito ang Daang Matuwid na tinatahak natin,” said Roxas. (Politicians or government officials did not have a say in this. You picked these projects. This is the straight path that we’re treading.)
While Roxas has touted the benefits of the BUB program, his critics see it as a means for the Liberal Party stalwart to prepare for a possible 2016 presidential bid.
During the 2015 budget deliberations for the DILG, senators criticized what they saw as a “lopsided” budget. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said the proposed national budget for the pre-election favors the DILG since funds are allocated to it for programs that are outside its mandate.
Senator Francis Escudero insisted the DILG’s budget would do nothing to help a possible 2016 campaign.
While Liberal Party members and allies have said Roxas will be the party’s standard bearer in 2016, Roxas himself has remained coy about his plans. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com