Budget Watch

DILG wants more funds for police, fire protection, jails in P251-B budget for 2023

Dwight de Leon
DILG wants more funds for police, fire protection, jails in P251-B budget for 2023
The Marcos administration wants Congress to raise the budget of PNP, BJMP, and BFP by at least P500 million each for next year

MANILA, Philippines – The Marcos administration is asking Congress for a significantly higher 2023 budget for at least three attached agencies of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – at least P500 million higher each compared to this year’s appropriations.

Based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and released on Monday, August 22, these government agencies are:

  • Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), with a budget request of P22.330 billion (up from the approved P21.347-billion budget for 2022)
  • Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), with a budget request of P26.772 billion (up from the approved P26.188-billion budget for 2022)
  • Philippine National Police (PNP), with a budget request of P191.496 billion (up from the approved P190.694-billion budget for 2022)

Overall, the executive branch is seeking P251.184 billion for DILG, which is slightly higher than the P248.530 billion requested by the Duterte administration from Congress for the current year, and what the legislature approved at P249.448 billion.

Below is the breakdown of the the proposed budget for each agency or unit under the DILG for 2023:

As usual, the PNP, under the DBM’s proposal, will get the lion’s share of the DILG’s budget, at P191.496 billion, slightly higher than what Congress gave the police force in 2022 at P190.694 billion.

Out of the proposed P191-billion funding for PNP, P175.611 billion will be allotted for its operations, specifically:

  • Crime prevention – P173.708 billion (biggest chunk will go to the conduct of police patrol operations against dissidents, subversives, lawless elements, and organized crime syndicates, and campaign against kidnapping, trafficking of women and minors, smuggling, carnapping, gunrunning, illegal fishing, and trafficking of illegal drugs)
  • Police education program – P1.169 billion
  • Crime investigation – P733.206 million

Around P1.8 billion will also be allotted for locally-funded projects, such as the ending the local communist armed conflict (P1.084 billion), Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (P546 million), and construction of police stations (P100 million).

In past statements, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said he would continue the Duterte administration’s drug war, but with focus on the grassroots level, and more support for policemen. He also sought to beef up efforts to professionalize and raise the skillset of the police force.

When he first faced the media as interior chief in July, he also vowed to construct more fire stations and decongest the state penitentiary.

Congress will still deliberate whether to increase or decrease the DILG’s budget for next year.

The Marcos administration is proposing a P5.268-trillion budget for 2023. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.