MIMAROPA Regions’ Regional Development Council (RDC) conducted the three-day budget consultation for FY 2014 on February 26-28, 2013 at Vencio’s Garden Hotel, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. The consultation was spearheaded by the Regional Development Council (RDC) Vice Chairperson and NEDA Regional Director Remigio A. Mercado together with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Regional Director Renato De Vera with the participation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director James Fadrilan, Chair of the Regional Poverty Reduction Action Team (RPRAT).

Director Mercado on his opening message gave emphasis on the value of optimism towards budget preparation and consultation rather than just for compliance. He pointed out three reasons for such budget enthusiasm: (1) the country’s economy has grown bigger vis-à-vis National Budget, (2) the President’s and DBM Secretary Abad’s parallel commitment to transparency and (3) the administration thrusts in policy reforms. These three reasons notably provide high hopes for the region to invest in good proposals taking into account the region’s development advantage.

 The consultation was conducted based on the Policy Guidelines and Procedures in the Preparation of the FY 2014 Budget Proposals set forth during the National Budget Call, FY 2014 as stated in the National Budget. Memorandum No. 115 dated December 28, 2012.

The Bottom-up Planning and Budgeting (BuPB) process is one of the highlights of the consultation as presented by Director De Vera. This is an approach to make the planning and budgeting processes of the local, regional and national governments more participatory, to strengthen the convergence of the delivery of national services down to the local levels and to provide balance in the identification of priorities. Budget proposals for BuB projects as identified in Local Poverty Reduction Action Plans (LPRAPs) are one of the priorities considered in the consultation among the participating agencies: DOE, NEA, DA, DAR, DENR, DTI, DOT, DepEd, DOH, TESDA, DSWD, DILG and DOLE. For MIMAROPA Region, there are sixty (60) municipalities and two (2) cities included in the BuB process for FY 2014, out of seventy three (73) cities and municipalities in the region.

The FY 2014 Budget Proposals of the Regional Line Agencies (RLAs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) were presented by sectoral clusters: Infrastructure and Utilities; economic; social; and development administration. A panel of reactors are composed of the RDC Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, DBM Director, DILG Director, Private Sector Representatives, and Provincial Planning Development Coordinators responded to the presentations with suggestions towards convergence and focus on the priority concerns of MIMAROPA.

The revised FY 2014 Priority Programs and Projects contained in the agency and SUC budget proposals were approved and endorsed by Regional Development Council IV-B during the 43rd RDC Full Council Meeting on March 22, 2013. A related resolution was also passed by the Council, Resolution No. 043-284-2013: Resolutions requesting his Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, III, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and all cabinet secretaries to recognize MIMAROPA as a regular region and to provide the requirements for separate agency regional offices with full staff complement and budget for personal service and maintenance and other operating expenses in 2014 onwards.