By Shah Balaw-ing

Baguio City – It is crucial to show that a project is necessary, realistic and more importantly has huge impact, advised Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad to the Regional Development Council during its meeting last October 26, 2013 at the Baguio Country Club here.

The secretary’s statement was in response to concerns regarding the budget allocation criteria for region line agencies presented by DBM Regional Director Liza Fangsilat and on budget-related concerns on Social Preparation for CAR (SPCAR) into an autonomous region raised by RDC Vice Chairman and NEDA Director Milagros A. Rimando.  

“The President is very strict in spending money and very keen on making sure that it should be spent on undertakings that have huge impact to the poor,” said Abad.

He admitted that the country’s development gains is far from inclusive despite genuine efforts towards reaching out for the poor such as the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and despite the country being considered the fastest-growing economy in Asia.

Abad said that the thrust at the national level is inclusive growth that provides jobs and alleviate poverty. He urged local government units to lobby for the development needs of their respective communities. 

More jobs are expected through information and communications technology especially through the Business Process Outsourcing, he said.  He also said that CCT will soon include beneficiaries up to high school.  CCT is providing education assistance for elementary pupils aged 6 to 14.

Abad also cited budgetary reforms citing the Bottom–up Budgeting (BuB) as an example.

BuB is a political agenda to begin a process of meaningful devolution where budget proposals of agencies consider the development needs of poor cities and municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction plans.