The MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC), through its sectoral committees, reviewed the FY 2021 proposed budgets of thirty eight (38) regional agencies and six state universities and colleges (SUCs) during the first quarter RDC sectoral committee meetings held on February 4-7, 2020 at the City Garden Suites in Manila.

The RDC Budget Review is undertaken to ensure that the programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) proposed by the agency regional offices (AROs) and SUCs are consistent with the regional development investment program (RDIP) approved by the RDC and supportive of the development thrust and priorities of the current administration and the region.

The regional directors or assistant regional directors and SUC Presidents presented their respective budget proposals to the sectoral committee members and the budget review panel composed of the following: RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano; Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.; Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor; RDC Acting Vice Chairperson and NEDA MIMAROPA OIC Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling; Acting RDC Secretary and NEDA MIMAROPA OIC-Assistant Regional Director Bernardino A. Atienza, Jr.; Department of Budget and Management (DBM) MIMAROPA Regional Director Maria Angelita C. Cells; representatives of the provincial governments of Palawan and Occidental Mindoro; chiefs’ of staff of MIMAROPA district representatives; and RDC private sector representatives.

In his opening remarks, Governor Riano sympathized with the regional offices in preparing budget proposals which, by experience, very few were considered in the General Appropriations Act (GAA). He encouraged the agencies to work harder and propose convergence projects which can be pushed at the national level. He also emphasized the contribution of AROs and SUCs in achieving the MIMAROPA’s vision of becoming the destination of choice. He urged the participants to provide comments and recommendations to ensure that MIMAROPA region will finally be able to get a fairer share in the 2021 national budget.

Mr. Christian G. Mendoza of the DBM MIMAROPA presented the salient features of the National Budget Memorandum No. 133. DBM Director Cells reiterated the three important features of the budget memorandum: 1) all budget proposals should undergo RDC review process and should have a covering RDC endorsement; 2) agency should be mindful of candidates for spill-over projects of the current year as Tier 2 for FY 2021; and 3) regional offices shall coordinate with their central offices on the regional allocation of Tier 1 level.

The proposed FY 2021 PAPs of the agencies considered the following concerns of the region: 1) climate change-related PAPs; 2) priority PAPs for the identified ELCAC priority areas; 3) PAPs that require convergence approach; 4) PAPs for gender and development; 5) PAPs in support of youth development, senior citizens, disabled persons, and indigenous people; and 6) PAPs related to the establishment of the regional government center. Moreover, list of PAPs identified by the local government units during the localization activities of the Philippine Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals were provided to cencerned agencies for consideration in the revision of their FY 2021 proposals.

The sectoral committees recommended RDC endorsement of the FY 2021 budget proposals of AROs and SUCs subject to revision based on the comments of the panel and committee members. The RDC is expected to endorse the FY 2021 budget proposals of the AROs and SUCs to their respective central offices during the first RDC full council meeting on March 6, 2020.