P622-M projects yet to be implemented-A A +A
Monday, September 16, 2013
WITH less than four months left before the end of the year, 11 National Government agencies in Eastern Visayas are still struggling to implement the P622-million projects for poor local government units (LGUs) listed under the 2013 bottom-up budgeting (BuB) approach.
Records show that several projects are still on preparatory stage, some funding have not yet downloaded, others are still waiting for proposals from local government units, and three agencies have not yet submitted project updates.
Department of Budget and Management Regional Director Imelda Laceras said 80 percent of funds have already been released by their department to implementing agencies but still a big chunk of the fund is unutilized.
For the Department of Agriculture (DA), which has P368.52 million BuB allocations, some P28.91 million of projects may not be pushed through due to failure of LGUs to submit proposals.
At least P125.21 million projects under DA's watch will not be realized since it is not matched with the 2013 work and financial plan of the agency. The amount accounts 20 percent of the total allocation for Eastern Visayas under BuB for this year.
"Let's look at the 80 percent unused fund that were downloaded to agencies and that's equivalent to P496 million. Based on the report, only 10 percent of the budget transferred has been used," Laceras said.
Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Director Pedro Noval, chair of the Regional Poverty Reduction Action Team (RPRAT), said that project execution of other departments is moving slowly.
As of August, the Department of Health has not yet started 50 poverty-reduction projects worth P59.49 million for six provinces of the region.
The Department of Education, which is tasked to carry out P19.45 million worth of projects, has not yet downloaded its funds. As of last month, 25 projects are still preparing for implementation.
Also in the preparatory phases are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with P9 million allotments, and the Department of Agrarian Reform with P11.64 programmed amount.
Of the 22 BuB projects committed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 19 have not yet started. The agency has an allotment of P31.24 million.
"National government agencies assure us that budget for project implementation will kick off before the end of the year. Regional offices are ready to release funding as long as LGUs will comply with all requirements needed before funding release," Noval said.
Citing rules, Laceras said if LGUs are incapable of carrying out projects, concerned agencies should take over the responsibility.
RPRAT is clueless on updates of P3.1 million BuB projects of the Department of Energy, P20.05 million of the National Electrification Administration, and P3.66 million of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. These agencies were told by the DILG regional chief to report updates.
BuB is an approach to preparing the budget proposals of agencies taking into consideration the development needs of poor LGUs as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans. For 2013, 55 LGUs in Eastern Visayas are recipients of BuB projects. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)