The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR), through its Regional Development Budget Coordinating Committee (RDBCC), conducted the annual review of 2018 budget proposals of fourteen (14) regional line agencies and 6 state universities and colleges (SUCs) on March 13 and 14, 2017.  The RDC Executive Committee subsequently endorsed the line agencies’ revised budget proposals to central offices, and the SUCs’ budget proposals to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

A total of P82.076 Billion is being proposed for government programs and projects in the region for the year 2018.  This is about 126% higher than the approved agency and SUC budgets for 2017.   This increase is due to the new big ticket projects that are being proposed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).  DPWH’s budget proposal already includes the various tourism roads of the Department of Tourism (DOT) as well as DTI-DPWH convergence road projects.   On the other hand, DA intends to convert the Baguio Daily Farm to a leading training center and research facility for the country’s underdeveloped dairy farm. The DILG proposes to establish provincial government centers in all CAR provinces while the newly established DOTr is requesting budget for lot acquisition and construction of a new office building.

The RDC-endorsed budget proposals will be consolidated and deliberated by the Central Offices of the Line Agencies. If approved by the heads of agencies, the proposed CAR budgets shall be included as part of the total budget of the line agency, then will be submitted to DBM for review and consolidation into the National Expenditure Program (NEP).  The President will submit the NEP to Congress for review and enactment into the General Appropriation Act for the succeeding year.

According to DBM, budgeting is important because it enables the government to plan and manage its financial resources to support the implementation of various programs and projects that best promote the development of the country.

The RDC, through the RDBCC, reviews agency and SUC budget proposals to ensure that these respond to regional plans and priorities, as well as to President Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.

The regional budget review allows regional stakeholders to validate the project proposals of the implementing agencies and to influence these towards priority sectors and/or geographic areas. As one LGU representative said, “This allows us LGUs to coordinate our priority projects with the agency concerned..”  Moreover, the budget review provides learning opportunities among agencies, LGUs and SUCs in terms of program project strategies and best practices.  Finally, the budget review equips the members of the RDC Executive Committee, who shall be meeting with CAR Congressional Representatives in seeking their support for priority CAR projects during Congressional hearings.

The DBM will separately review the annual and supplemental budgets of LGUs and manage the allocation and release of their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as well as their share in the utilization of national wealth (asa/cpm/NEDA-CAR).