GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 July) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 has released around P90 million in grants to 15 local government units (LGUs) in the region for the implementation of various livelihood and infrastructure projects.
Amalia Jayag-Datukan, DA Region 12 director, said Wednesday the funds are part of the region’s allocation for this year under the national government’s Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) program.
Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Datukan said the DA central office approved the release of the grants to facilitate the implementation of “poverty reduction projects” that were earlier identified and proposed by the recipient LGUs.
She said the recipients were eight LGUs in North Cotabato, four in Sarangani Province and two in South Cotabato.
In North Cotabato, the municipality of Pikit received the biggest grant at P13.6 million, followed by Banisilan at P6.8 million, Alamada at P6.4 million, M’lang at P6.06 million, Antipas at P5.7 million, Aleosan at P4.05 million, Kidapawan City at P4 million and Magpet at P3.8 million.
In Sarangani, Maasim town received P9.7 million, followed by Malungon with P8.05 million, Kiamba with P6.8 million and Maitum with P2.46 million.
The municipality of T’boli in South Cotabato received P7.5 million while Tampakan and Surallah received P3.7 million and P1.74 million, respectively.
Formerly known as Bottom-up Budgeting, GPB is a participative approach instituted by the Department of Budget and Management.
Under the scheme, the executive department identifies various programs and projects to help address the development needs of poorest cities and municipalities in the country.
Datukan said the program allows LGUs to identify livelihood and infrastructure projects that adhere with their local poverty reduction action plans.
She said these plans are formulated with the participation of representatives and leaders from various sectors, peoples and civil society organizations.
Through the GPB, the LGUS, in consultation with community-based organizations and farmer groups, determine and propose the needed projects that will improve the economic status of their farmers and fisherfolk, she said.
“We’re mainly capacitating our LGUs to implement measures that would help reduce poverty incidence in their areas and improve the lives of their constituents, especially our rural farmers” Datukan said.
The official said they are currently working with other LGUs in the region in the formulation of project proposals for the GPB program.
She said such move is aimed to fast track the approval of project proposals and the release of the grants. (MindaNews)