Friday, September 09, 2011

DILG urged to put up list of peace, development programs

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 9, 2011) - Senator Franklin Drilon on Friday urged the Department of Interior and Local Government to come up with a detailed list of beneficiaries of the agency’s peace and development initiatives to local governments, saying the chamber will not allow a lump sum item which leaves much room for discretion.

"We would like to examine how realistic it is to have a more detailed budgeting for these amounts of money rather than a lump sum because lump sum appropriation would always give so much leeway to the implementers,” Drilon in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

The DILG is headed by Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that they are scrutinizing the DILG's proposed P1.816 trillion national budget for 2012, particularly the so-called Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or Peaceful and Resilient Communities (PAMANA) program which is also being undertaken by other government agencies.

The Pamana program, which was originally implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, has been allotted a total of P1.9 billion. The DILG component of the program has a funding of P968.9 million, while other allocations were distributed among the Department of Social Welfare and Development (P586.7 million), Department of Agrarian Reform (P17.6 million) and OPAPP (P329.3 million).

The fund for the Pamana program will be used for development projects, such as infrastructure and livelihood, in 165 cities and municipalities in 30 conflict-hit provinces.

At the same time, Drilon said he is in favor of putting the P1.9 billion allocation for the program into a single item in the budget.

“There should be no problem with that. we can put it under one fund and have a special provision in the budget which will say that the implementation will be done through the DILG, DAR, OPAPP and DSWD,” Drilon said

Senate President Juan Enrile suggested that the allocations of the program for various agencies could be put together under one fund “so that it is easier to monitor.”

“It should only be under one fund so that when we analyze it, we just look at one fund. There are four agencies that will have to respond but insofar as the Senate is concerned, there is only one fund,” Drilon said.

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