Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said over the weekend that the DILG’s new Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) program is ‘different’ from the previous administration’s Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) program.
Sueno said ADM is distinct in terms of its objectives, type of projects, eligibility for funding, projects identification scheme, and budget allocation per local government unit (LGU).
He said that unlike BuB whose main objective is citizen engagement and participation, ADM is designed to help LGUs strengthen their ability to deliver basic services.
“The ADM is anchored on the need to somehow provide fiscal space to municipalities, to allow them not to become too dependent on their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and to help LGUs utilize their local resources for other programs and projects,” he said.
Sueno said that under the new program, the local chief executive has to submit a project list culled from any of the municipality’s existing plans, unlike in the BuB wherein civil society organizations are included in project identification.
“The main trajectory of BuB then was people participation. In ADM, we are more concerned with helping the towns address the essential needs of their constituents,” he said.
Sueno added that the projects eligible for ADM assistance include the five basic infrastructures that are most needed in municipalities namely: access roads, potable water, evacuation centers, sanitation facilities, and small water impounding.
The DILG Secretary also said that the ADM, similar to the BuB, also imposes a requirement wherein municipal governments have to meet good governance standards prior to the release of funds to them. These standards include passing the good financial housekeeping component of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) and completion of the assessment of its Public Financial Management System.
He said that although not all of the 1,373 out of the total 1,489 municipalities in the country that are covered under the program may be considered “disadvantaged,” the ADM looks at the magnitude of poverty in the area and not just at the municipalities’ baseline income.
The DILG chief also stressed that there is no duplication or repetition of projects under the ADM program with other national government agencies, noting that the P19.4 billion budget being proposed for ADM is for projects that are within the scope of implementation by the DILG.