Davao Region gets P38.2-B budget share

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 January) — Davao Region can expect sustained government investments on education, health, social services, and infrastructure through its P38.21 billion share from the approved P3.002 trillion budget for 2016.

In a press briefing on the 2015 Davao Region Socioeconomic last Friday, Maria Lourdes Lim, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said the 2015 growth can be sustained in 2016.

Lim said the region, comprising the four Davao provinces (Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental) and Compostela Valley  and the cities of Davao, Digos, {Tagum, Samal, Mati will receive a total of P38.21 billion to be distributed among 23 major government agencies from the approved P3.002 trillion approved budget for 2016.

This is 3 percent lower compared with the 2015 budget share of P39.44 percent.

She said this budget excludes lump-sum appropriations “that may be later downloaded to agency regional offices.”

“The social sector will receive the biggest chunk at 55 percent of the region’s budget, or equivalent to P20.93 billion, she said.

Among the regional government agencies, the Department of Education (DepEd) 11 has biggest share with a total of P9.7 billion.

The Department of Health (DOH) 11 is second biggest at P4.8 billion, followed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development with P4.3 bllion.

She said the infrastructure sector is a total of P14.6 billion, with allocations for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as the highest at 97.2 percent, or equivalent to P14.2 billion.

In the region’s social sector last year, Lim said the region took strides in the provision of health, education, and social welfare services.

“Most significant among the improvements in the social sector was the provision of social welfare services that ensured social protection to the region’s marginalized and vulnerable sectors,” she said.

She added that DSWD 11’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, also known as the conditional cash transfer (CCT), enrolled 228,793 household beneficiaries, or 87 percent of its annual target during the three quarters of 2015.

The region achieved its target for the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) for infant mortality with only 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, lower by almost half than the annual target of six deaths.

“Progress were also made in terms of birth attendance by skilled health professionals and sustainable access of the population to improved water supply,” she said.

Lim said Davao Region’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) is seen to grow by 8.7 percent in 2016 on the back of a sustained government expenditures for social services,  infrastructure developments, and projects enrolled under the private-public partnership (PPP) program.

The region outperformed 16 other regions in the Philippines after it posted 9.4 percent growth in 2014, even surpassing the 6.1 percent national average. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)