The Senate approved on Wednesday the PhP33.569 billion budget for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for 2018, the region’s information bureau said.
In a statement, the Bureau of Public Information (BPI)–ARMM said the Senate’s approval of the budget proposition came “without much discussion and in less than a minute.”
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman described the speedy approval of the budget as a manifestation of the Senate’s trust in his administration.
“Sa Senate finance subcommittee hearing pa lang (Even during the Senate subcommittee hearing), we (already) received positive feedbacks na from our lawmakers,” Hataman said.
The Senate Finance Subcommittee endorsed the budget proposal last Sept. 18.
Early on, the budget also passed swiftly before the House of Representatives after it received support from the majority on Sept. 12.
In the 2018 ARMM budget, some P14.7 billion or 43.8 percent is allocated for personnel service. Another P14 billion or 42 percent is allotted for capital outlay, while the remaining P4.7 billion or 14 percent is apportioned for maintenance and other operating expenses.
Hataman said the budget was crafted based on a number of considerations that included the ARMM Regional Development Plan 2017–2022 anchored on the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
The region’s 2018 budget intends foremost to boost the current administration’s two banner programs, namely the ARMM’s Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Equity (BRIDGE) and the ARMM-Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Security, and Synergy (ARMM-HELPS) packages.
So far, the ARMM–BRIDGE program has provided shelter, electricity, water and food provision for 5,600 less privileged families across the region. It is expected that 7,000 more families would benefit from it in 2018.
The ARMM–HELPS program, meanwhile, targets to establish a peaceful and secure environment in the region by providing basic social services to health, education, livelihood, good governance and peace in the communities.
Since 2014, a total of 403 barangays managed to establish their barangay peace center, health centers, water facilities, daycare centers and livelihood centers and housing projects.
In 2018, the region is eyeing to set up more infrastructures in 150 villages across the region. (PNA)