April 13, 2018

Regional priority programs and projects are set to be included in the 2019 national budget after much consideration in a dialogue between regional and central offices of various agencies last week.

The NEDA Board-Regional Development Committee facilitated the Regional Development Council-Agency Central Office (RDC-ACO) Dialogue in line with its function to promote the rational allocation of resources across regions.

Pursuant to DBM Circular Letter No. 2018-5, which was issued in line with the National Budget Memorandum No. 129 (Budget Call), the dialogue was held to provide a venue for presenting priorities of regions and for advocating the inclusion of these in the budget proposal of national government agencies.

“This activity truly provides a mechanism for dialogue to thresh out both national and subnational priorities and, in the process, strengthen the vertical linkage of national and local plans and programs,” NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro said.

She added that the dialogue ensures a more inclusive and responsive national budget while strengthening the role of RDCs in the budget process.

The activity was attended by agencies whose programs had been identified in the said DBM Circular, namely the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Health (DOH), and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

The aforementioned agencies presented their criteria in prioritizing projects under their respective programs, including the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of DOH; Farm-to-Market Roads of DA; Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat Program of DILG; Communal Irrigation System of NIA; Local Roads and Bridges program of DPWH; and Level III Water Supply System of LWUA.

“The dialogue enabled RDCs to appreciate the prioritization process of central offices, and vice versa. Indeed, this exercise shows that we consider each other as partners in achieving inclusive growth,” Navarro said.

The dialogue was held at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Pasig last April 6, 2018.

The NEDA Board-Regional Development Committee is set to conduct another dialogue, one that will focus on advance budget programming, with RDCs and selected ACOs. It is tentatively set for October 2018 in preparation for the 2020 budget.