P317.5M for Bukidnon’s anti-poverty programs in 2013

VALENCIA CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — Bukidnon’s two cities and 17 of its 20 towns will get a total of P317.5 million from national government agencies for anti-poverty programs in 2013, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) said.

The 19 local government units (LGUs) are among the 609 priority recipients all over the country, NAPC Undersecretary Marie Labajo told MindaNews Tuesday.

Libona, Sumilao and Dangcagan towns were not included in the 2013 allocation, but Labajo said they will possibly be included in the 2014 budget.

Of Bukidnon’s LGUs, Valencia City will get the highest budget, P37.8 million, followed by Quezon town and Malaybalay City with P26.9 million each.

Labajo said the LGUs were selected based on the number of poorest of the poor households and the 2006 population density survey by the National Statistical Coordination Board.

So far, 595 LGUs have submitted their Local Poverty Reduction Action Plans (LPRAP) to NAPC for 2013, she added, adding the P9-billion budget would be taken from 10 agencies including the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health.

Labajo said she is confident the proposed amount would pass scrutiny by Congress in budget hearings scheduled for next month.

Most of the proposed projects are farm-to-market roads and support services for agrarian reform communities, she said.

She noted that not one LGU proposed a project for child delinquents.

“Although it might just be because of lack of consciousness of the problem,” the official, who once worked with child care providers, admitted.

The NAPC’s new budgeting process leaves the LGUs with no choice but to partner with civil society organizations if they wish to avail of additional funds, Labajo said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) earlier reported that the Aquino administration earmarked P9.02 billion in funds for the agency-wide implementation of priority poverty reduction projects through the bottom-up budgeting approach.

The funds were identified in a joint memorandum circular by the DBM, NAPC, and the Departments of Interior and Local Government, and Social Welfare and Development. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)