Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Secretary Pangandaman Wants ‘Long-Term, High-Impact’ Projects In BARMM


Secretary Pangandaman Wants ‘Long-Term, High-Impact’ Projects In BARMM

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Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Thursday emphasized the need to implement “long-term” and “high-impact” projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to attain socioeconomic development in the region.

This, as Pangandaman joined the 14th National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) meeting in General Santos City.

During the meeting, Pangandaman underlined the importance of timely submission of BARMM’s spending plans for 2024.

“At this point, let us think of long-term projects and high-impact programs to concretize socioeconomic development in BARMM,” she said. “The timely submission of worthy proposals for nationally-funded programs by various Bangsamoro Ministries will enable the Department of Budget and Management to strongly consider sufficient allocation for the implementation of these programs that benefit our people.”

Pangandaman made the statement, as she lauded the “harmonious working relations” between the national government and the BARMM government which led to the successful convening of the Intergovernmental Infrastructure Development Board, the Intergovernmental Energy Board, and the Joint Body for the Zones of Joint Cooperation.

The Bangsamoro Sustainable Development Board would also convene this month.

Pangandaman welcomed the agreement to fast-track the re-establishment of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Consular Office and the creation of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) Service Center in BARMM to bring government services closer to the region’s constituents.

She noted that there were also discussions on the entry of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Fronts to the Philippine National Police; the inventory of liabilities of the then-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government; and the coordination between the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the Bangsamoro Pilgrimage Authority on Hajj and Umrah.

“Our harmonious working relations have resulted in productive technical working groups, public-oriented decisions that will have lasting benefits, and strategic intergovernmental mechanisms, among others,” Pangandaman said.

“To reinforce the work we are doing, the National Government, through the Department of Budget and Management, already released to the Bangsamoro Government the block grant of BARMM amounting to PHP64.8 billion and the Special Development Fund amounting to PHP5 billion to rebuild, rehabilitate, and develop conflict-affected communities in the region,” she added.


Role of local budget officers

Meantime, Pangandaman acknowledged the vital role of local budget officers and lauded them for their ability to rise up to various challenges, especially in crafting a budget that would be beneficial to the Filipino people.

“I cannot emphasize enough how crucial your role is in bridging the needs of our fellow Filipinos and the responses of the government, especially in crafting a budget that is truly inclusive and people-centered,” she said during the Regional Association of Local Budget Officers (RALBO) 12 Inc. General Assembly and 1st Quarter DBM Updating Session.

Pangandaman also commended the local budget officers for their significant contributions to the gains made by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

She said they helped the government in further taming the inflation and exceeding the spending target in March.

She noted that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) was projected to be the highest in the Southeast Asia this year.

She added that the country is forecast to reach the “middle-income” status in the next two years and on track to become a trillion-dollar economy by 2023.

“All of these are considerable achievements and I am confident that, with your usual support and dedication, we can maintain, if not transcend, the excellent work that we have already been doing,” Pangandaman said. (PNA)

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