The Regional Development Council (RDC) XI endorsed around PhP96.51 billion of proposed programs, activities and projects (PAPs) from 35 Regional Line Agencies of Davao Region for 2016.The proposed amount is 38 percent higher compared to what the RDC XI proposed in 2015 while the number of budget proposals evaluated rose to thirty-five from twenty-eight last year.
The budget proposals were evaluated based on three criteria set by RDC XI, namely: (a) support to the regional development thrusts and directions as outlined in the Updated Davao Regional Development Plan, 2014-2016; (b) contribution in achieving the targets or development outcomes in the Updated Results Matrices (URM), 2014-2016 of the Updated Davao Regional Development Plan; and (c) contribution to achieving equity across the various local government units in Davao Region.
RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim cited that RDC XI initiated a landmark reform, which was featured in the National Budget Memorandum 123 or the FY 2016 Budget Call, which is the conduct of the RDC-Agency Central Office (ACO) Dialogue to promote more equitable budget allocations across regions and between ACOs and Agency Regional Offices (AROs).
Representatives from 15 RDCs nationwide participated in the RDC-ACO Dialogue conducted at the NEDA sa Pasig on March 31 led by the NEDA Board-Regional Development Committee Chairperson, Economic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan. The Dialogue focused on the budget priorities of selected National Government Agencies (NGAs) such as: the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Transportation (DOT), Education (DepEd), Health (DOH) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The RDCs also advocated for the review of national policies on the implementation of Farm-to-Market Roads, establishment of an Organic Food Certifying Body in Mindanao and decentralizing the approval of projects by authorizing the RDCs to approve a certain amount of projects at the regional level, among others.
During the RDC-ACO Dialogue, the RDC XI submitted a total of PhP 79.96 billion proposal comprising the PAPs of DA XI, DPWH XI, CAAP XI, PPA XI, DOH XI and DepEd XI. The proposed budgets of these agencies comprised 83 percent of the total budget proposals of Davao Region for 2016.
The institutionalization of the RDC-ACO Dialogue in the National Government budgeting process and the leadership of the NEDA-Board RDCom towards a more rational allocation of resources across regions are two significant policy reforms initiated by the RDC XI Vice-Chairperson Maria Lourdes D. Lim in her study on Institutionalizing the Regional Development Budgeting Process Framework or the RDBPF, supported by 14 RDCs nationwide.
The RDBPF advocates for a more just and rational allocation of resources among regions through the institutionalization of the following reforms in the budgeting process: (a) the conduct of the RDC-ACO Dialogue; (b) the institutionalization of the RDC-Legislature Joint Investment Programming/Budgeting Review Exercises through the RDC Advisory Committees; (c) involvement of the NEDA Board RDCom in the budgeting process, particularly in the determination of the regional allocation shares of the RDCs; and (d) monitoring and management of RDC performance to ensure optimum benefits from a more transparent budget utilization, consistent with and responsive to regional development priorities.