CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) parliament approved an P85.3-billion budget for the special administrative region for 2023 on Tuesday, December 20.
The 2023 Bangsamoro Expenditure Program, approved on the third and final reading by 44 regional legislators without opposition about three months after Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Bill No. 54 was filed, seeks to give priority to education, health, infrastructure, and social services.
BARMM’s education sector received the biggest chunk of the annual budget “to improve access to quality and holistic education by strengthening the education system.”
Officials said they would invest in human resource development, skills training, learning continuity programs, and advancing science, technology, and innovation through the madaris system.
They said the regional government would also work to strengthen their Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education’s operations, and improve the region’s curriculum, learning delivery and assessment, school-based management and operations, higher education services, and access to scholarships, among others.
“The CFBM (BARMM Parliament Committee on Finance, Budget, and Management) truly underwent marathon hearings and scrutinized the proposed budgets of all ministries and offices to ensure that the budget is for the Bangsamoro people,” said committee chairman and parliament member Eduard Guerra.
BARMM’s 2023 budget showed an increase from the region’s P79.8 billion this year.
The Bangsamoro government set aside P70.1 billion for its ministries, agencies, and offices, while P15.2 billion have been set aside as special purpose funds.
Following its passage in the second reading, the budget was swiftly approved by Parliament members.
Aside from the education ministry, BARMM ministries and offices with the biggest budgets are the following:
- Ministry of Public Works, P16.4 billion
- Office of the Chief Minister, P5.9 billion
- Ministry of Health, P5.8 billion
- BTA, P3.9 billion
- Ministry of Social Services, P3.07 billion
- Ministry of Interior and Local Government, P2.04 billion
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, P1.5 billion
- Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy, P666 million
- Ministry of Transportation and Communications – P539 million