CONFED Mindanao bats for higher Mindanao budget

Mindanao’s 26 provincial governors, 27 city mayors, and 26 municipal mayors’ leagues presidents gathered at the Del Rio Resort here for a reorganization because of the new personalities involved after the elections last May.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, president of CONFED Mindanao, noted that Mindanao should have more than 25 percent of the national budget, considering Mindanao’s contribution to the national economy.

She lamented that in 2002, after a supposedly successful lobbying that culminated in a Mindanao budget summit, only 19 percent was devoted to Mindanao.

Fuentes pointed out, too, that national government agencies like the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has devoted only 30 percent of its budget to Mindanao even the island has a large portion of the country’s irrigated farms.

She further said that while the National Electrification Administration increased its Mindanao budget to 50 percent from 2003 to 2006, she could only ask, “In 2007, is Mindanao 100 percent fully energized?”

Other issues discussed during the one-day meeting include the Mindanao super-region, Mindanao budget study, tax issues in Mindanao and the implementation of the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS).