CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Murad” Ebrahim has proposed a nearly P4-billion increase in the region’s budget for 2023.
Ebrahim proposed an P83.5-billion budget, which is P3.7 billion higher than the P79.8-billion Bangsamoro Expenditure Program for 2022.
For his office, Ebrahim sought a P5.9-billion budget, and another P3.1 billion for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
Education got the biggest chunk – P27.7 billion or a third of the proposed 2023 BARMM budget.
BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal said the regional government was putting a premium on the education of the Bangsamoro youth, including their Madaris education.
Iqbal said the BARMM Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education was working to ensure that “no Bangsamoro learner, even those in remote areas, would be left behind.”
The proposed infrastructure spending in BARMM came in second, at P16.4 billion or 19.6% of the proposed budget.
BARMM officials said the regional government’s spending for infrastructure development in 2023 would be strategic and aimed at generating employment and spurring economic activities.
Ebrahim also proposed P5.6 billion for health and P2.8 billion for social services, accounting for 6.7% and 3.3%, respectively, of the proposed P83.5 billion budget for 2023.
Ebrahim’s four proposed budgetary priorities account for 62.1% or P52 billion of the P83.5-billion expenditure program he submitted to Bangsamoro Speaker Pangalian Balindong.
Ebrahim also proposed budgets for the following BARMM ministries:
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, P1.4 billion
- Ministry of Interior and Local Government, P1.2 billion
- Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy, P663 million
- Ministry of Transportation and Communications, P545 million,
- Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism, P470 million
- Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Management, P358 million
- Ministry of Labor and Employment, P287 million
- Ministry of Science and Technology, P247 million
- Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, P214 million
- Ministry of Public Order and Safety, P135 million
- Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, P108 million
Ebrahim said the priorities in the proposed budget were consistent with BARMM’s mandate to create “a better environment for the Bangsamoro people, who will reap the benefits of a better economy.”
BTA members started deliberating on Ebrahim’s proposal on Wednesday, September 28. – Rappler.com