RDC-12 okays P129.5-B budget for regional agencies, other offices

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 March) — The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 has endorsed a proposed budget of around P129.591 billion for the operations next year of the 43 regional line agencies, state colleges and universities and other government offices based in the region.

Arturo Valero, RDC-12 acting chairperson, said Wednesday they issued the endorsement following a series of region-wide review and consultations on the budget proposals of the regional offices operating in the area.

He said the proposed budget specifically covered 31 regional agencies, seven government-owned and controlled corporations and five state colleges and universities.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Cotabato, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Tacurong.

“The proposed budget will mainly fund the identified programs, projects and activities of the regional offices for 2015,” said Valero, who is also the regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 12.

The official said the council’s endorsement was based on a recommendation earlier made by its executive committee, which initiated the budget review and consultations.

He said the RDC review of the budget proposals was based on its mandate as provided for in Executive Order No. 325, series of 1995, and in compliance with National Budget Memorandum No. 120 dated January issued by the Department of Budget and Management that set the budget call for fiscal year 2015.

Valero said the programs, projects and activities identified in the budget proposals were supportive of the social contract and key result areas earlier set by the national government.

He said these were also in line with the provisions of the updated Philippine Development Plan, Regional Development Plan, Regional Development Investment Program for 2014-2016 the 2015 Annual Investment Program.

The bulk of the proposed budget was allotted for social development initiatives at P108.256 billion or 83.54 percent while the infrastructure support component received around P11.282 billion or 8.71 percent, he said.

Valero said the sustainable agriculture and fishery component got a total of P5.972 billion or 4.61 percent.

He said 18 of the regional line agencies have set aside allocations for the constriction of their office buildings and complexes in Koronadal City, which is the regional seat and center of Region 12.

The total budget requirement for such component reached P766.038 million, he said.

Some 40 regional lines agencies have so far fully transferred their offices in Koronadal City while 11 other offices and bureaus have established satellite offices in the area.

The Koronadal City planning and development office cited in a report that a total of 36 regional line agencies already acquired lots at the regional center site here.

Six of these line agencies have already constructed their office buildings and fully transferred to the area, one is presently under the construction phase while the others are still in the process of signing a memorandum of agreement with the city government. (MindaNews)