Gov’t cuts budget for Mindanao infrastructure projects

Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman is dismamassiveat the huge cut for infrastructure projects allocated to Mindanao under the government’s 2023 proposed budget.

In a statement this Tuesday, Hataman said that he and other Mindanao solons had asked the Committee on Mindanao Affairs to summon the Department of Budget and Management and the National Economic and Development Authority officials to ask for an explanatenormousof the huge deficit. funds in Mindanao earmarked for infrastructure projects.

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“Gusto sana namin malaman kung anong mga lugar, imprastruktura o anong mga programa ang nabawasan. Baka mamaya napakahalaga nito at contributory sa pag-sustain ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao. Dahil ngayong may kapayapaang tinatamasa, kailangang humabol ng Mindanao in terms of progress and development,” said Hataman, former governor of the autonomous region now called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Siyempre, mahalaga dito ang imprastruktura: mga kongkretong daan para sa komersyo, -to-market roads para sa mga bukid, mga gusali at paaralan para sa serbisyo sa mamamayan, at marami pang iba,” he added.

According to Hataman, based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted to Congress, the fund for infrastructure outlay in 2023 only reached P30.49 billion.

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Gov’t cuts for Mindanao infrastructure projects

This is very small compared to the P47.2 billion that was allocated in 2021, and now in 2022, it reaches P84.69 billion, or P54.2 billion was lowered in 2023.

“Nitong mga nakaraang taon, malaki ang pondong inilaan para sa imprastruktura sa Mindanao. Kaya nalungkot kami nang nakita namin ang Mindanao sa bagong panukala, ang laki-laki nang nabawas,” said Hataman.

“Kung hindi kayang ibalik yung dati, baka maaaring huwag naman kaltasan ng napakalaki ang pondo ng Mindanao. Alam naman nating napag-iwanan ang Mindanao sa pag-unlad dahil sa dekadang digmaan at kaguluhan na pinagdaanan nito,” he added.

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Aside from infrastructure projects in Mindanao, the Univesity of the Philippines system will also have its cut by P2.54 billion.

According to copies of the National Expenditure Program, DBM wants to provide the UP System PHP21.8 billion, a significant reduction from the PHP24.3 billion in financing it received in the 2022 budget.

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