(Virtual, 20-24 February 2023). In line with the mandate of the Regional Development Council (RDC) under Executive Order No. 325 to review the budget proposals of government entities, the RDC XI Expanded Executive Committee (ExCom) endorsed the budget proposals of 51 Agency Regional Offices (AROs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and selected Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) in Davao Region for FY 2024 totaling more than ₱260 Billion. Consistent with the directive to digitalize government processes, the five-day activity was conducted online. The activity ensures that the budget proposals support the development thrusts and priorities of Davao Region, as embodied in the Davao Regional Development Plan, 2023-2028, and that the AROs are able to “craft annual regional plans and budgets that are anchored on the departments’ priorities in different regions, the assessment of implementation-readiness of the priority programs, activities and projects (PAPs) in the regions, and the consideration of the likely resource constraints for regional planning and budgeting as a result of the devolved functions, and to coordinate these plans and budgets with the RDCs to ensure convergence of regional programs”, as directed under the National Budget Memorandum No. 145.
Included among the priorities of the RDC XI in the budget proposals of AROs are Gender and Development PAPs, PAPs for Indigenous Peoples Communities, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Youth Development, PAPs that support the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 or Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace and Executive Order No. 138 or the Full Devolution of Certain Functions of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, PAPs supporting the adaptation to the “New Normal”, PAPs related to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Action and PAPs that support the Davao Industry Cluster Roadmaps and Metropolitan Davao initiatives.
The FY 2024 Davao Region budget proposals endorsed by the RDC XI by sectoral breakdown is shown in the following graph:
The top five agencies with the biggest budget proposals are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) XI with ₱141.99 Billion, Department of Education (DepEd) XI with ₱53.92 Billion, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XI with ₱11.79 Billion, National Housing Authority (NHA) XI with ₱6.23 Billion and Department of Agriculture (DA) XI with ₱5.59 Billion, which comprise more than 84% of the total RDC XI-endorsed FY 2024 budget proposals for Davao Region.
The Tier 1 proposals or budgets for the continued implementation of existing PAPs of agencies totaled ₱195.43 Billion, equivalent to 75% of the total budget proposals endorsed by the RDC XI. New and expanded PAPs under Tier 2, amounting to ₱64.94 Billion, comprise the remaining 25% of the total endorsed budget proposals. Following the devolution of certain functions of the Executive Branch to Local Government Units (LGUs) and the approved Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs) of the Department of Health and Commission on Population and Development and LGUs, the budget proposals for FY 2024 excluded the PAPs which shall be devolved to the LGUs.
The new and expanded projects under Tier 2 were ranked following the prioritization criteria set by the RDC XI, which includes ranking by the agencies based on their prioritization of PAPs, sector relevance, and absorptive capacity of agencies. Similar to the criteria set in the prior year, the implementation-readiness of PAPs was not included as a criterion since all proposed Tier 2 PAPs are required to be implementation-ready under the National Budget Memorandum No. 145. Three major capital projects (MCPs) costing more than ₱2.5 billion were endorsed for funding, namely:
- Ensure Safe and Reliable National Road System (DPWH XI; ₱7,406,771,000)
- Protect Lives and Properties Against Major Floods (DPWH XI; ₱ 7,092,700,000)
- Davao Regional Government Center Housing Project for Government Employees (NHA XI; ₱1,140,140,000 for FY 2024 Component)
Other PAPs below ₱2.5 billion in the RDC XI’s top priority list of PAPs in Tier 2 include the construction of new office buildings of the Davao Region agencies at the Regional Government Center in Bago Oshiro, Davao City, renovation/repair of existing government office structures, construction/upgrading/maintenance of other government and public buildings and facilities (e.g., Mati Airport Development Project, laboratories, research centers, education centers, multi-purpose buildings, etc.), procurement of equipment (e.g., office equipment, motor vehicles, etc.), funding requirements for new or expanded existing PAPs and Personnel Services (PS) cost of new positions and staffing modifications. – Kristoffer Kim Boga, NEDA XI