The government said funding for the proposed projects under its Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) Program would expand by more than P10 billion next year.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced that funding for proposed projects under the 2017 BuB Program will total P35 billion, P10.3 billion more than this year’s BuB budget.
Under BuB, LGUs and civil society and community organizations jointly identify priority poverty reduction programs and projects to be included in the proposed national budget.
Of the total proposed budget, the DBM said funds amounting to P19.7 billion—or more than 50 percent of the total—would be downloaded to beneficiary local governments.
These are cities and municipalities that have complied with the good governance conditions set in the implementing guidelines of the program, according to the DBM.
These requirements include compliance with the Good Financial Housekeeping component of the Seal of Good Local Governance and implementation of Public Financial Management (PFM) improvement measures, the agency explained.
“For 2017, funding for BuB programs—specifically those that LGUs [local government units]can implement—will be released directly to local governments. We are moving from agency-implemented BuB projects to more performance-based direct downloads to LGUs.
Of course, the release of these funds will depend on the performance of the LGUs,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
“Altogether, our goals are three-fold: to include citizens in local budgeting, to strengthen LGU capacity and accountability, and to make the budget process work for the benefit of our communities,” he added.
At present, DBM noted that only P11.7 billion out of the total P24.7 billion BuB budget is downloaded to beneficiary local governments.
The agency said the rest of the funds for BuB projects are released to national government agencies that implement the projects.
“The best thing about BuB is that it draws ordinary citizens into the local development planning process. And because communities now have a hand in crafting the local budget, they’re already enjoying better access to basic local government services. At the same time, BuB has urged LGUs to improve their ability to serve their constituents. This is BuB’s legacy, and it should continue,” Tacurong City Mayor Lina Montilla said.
Tacurong is one of the local governments in the country to receive a P5-million incentive this year for good performance.
Local governments that have shown a strong track record in implementing BuB projects are granted a performance incentive of P5 million, which local governments will use for additional anti-poverty projects.
To qualify, a local government must have completed at least 80 percent of the previous year’s BuB projects, and at least 50 percent of the current year’s BUB projects by end-September of this year.