PIA News Service - Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011

DBM withholds 20% AFP personnel services budget

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) –-Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad recently said that 20 percent of the budget intended for the personnel services (PS) of the country’s armed forces is currently withheld.

Sec. Abad explained however that the said budget is intended for positions in the armed forces that are not filled-up.

He said the government will only release funds for filled uniformed and non-uniformed positions in the armed forces. “Thus, no PNP personnel will suffer from this move of the government,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abad admitted that as of Thursday, AFP failed to submit the master list of their uniformed and non-uniformed personnel which made the budget department decide to withdraw some P8.6 million of the armed forces’ budget in the personnel services “because we feel that over the years, 20% of the total PS requirements of the armed forces were not actually used to hire more soldiers and ended up as savings… as to what they are used for, these on-going hearings are very instructive,” he said.

The budget chief is here in the city on Thursday to serve as a review panel in the 2012 Regional Budget Consultation for Caraga aimed to generate comments and recommendations of the official on the budget proposals presented by government agencies including the local government units in Caraga Region. (PIA-Caraga)

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DBM reveals fate over Dinagat Province budget

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) – With the decision of the Supreme Court converting the Province of Dinagat Islands back into a municipality after the Supreme Court declared the law separating it from the province of Surigao del Norte as unconstitutional, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said they were instructed by the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to look into the Dinagat situation “since the decision of the Supreme Court is final and executory”.

Sec. Abad said the existence of Dinagat Islands as a province is terminated therefore its budget allocation for the internal revenue allotment (IRA) will be lesser compared to what the province has been receiving in the past years, as the budget will now be incorporated in the Province of Surigao del Norte’s IRA.

“When you do the computation of IRA sharing, you will count the number of provinces… some of it may have been dispersed from the other province also… as a mythical portion, may have found its way in the Surigao del Norte budget, but it is not 100 percent,” Abad explained.

In a 30-page decision written by Justice Diosdado Peralta, the High Court said the Dinagat Islands was not able to comply with the land area and population requirements before it could become a province. (PIA-Caraga)

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Jobs generation, a priority concern of the gov’t – Sec. Abad

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) – Former DepEd Secretary and now Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad recently said jobs generation is also one of the priority programs of the Aquino administration as part of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III’s social contract particularly on rapid, equitable, and inclusive growth.

According to Abad, apart from the usual industries that have earned various employments for the Filipinos like the semi-conductors, electronics and now business process outsourcing, the President would also like to focus the country’s public investments in agriculture, tourism and general infrastructure requirements of those industries.

Apart from those industries, Abad said the government is on the process of opening the economy to private-public partnerships.

The government is opening a space in the budget because the President believes that the private sector should be the principal engine of this public-private partnership and what government can do is to create the policies, regulatory as well as the business environment in order to attract investors to the country.

“This is the reason why we are fixing the regulatory environment," he said.

With these developments, Sec. Abad assured that the government will guarantee regulation that will not put the investors’ business to risk. (PIA-Caraga)

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Sec. Abad backs PNoy’s directives to Caraga officials to determine budget priorities

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) – Sec. Florencio Abad of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) supported Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s directives to Caraga local chief executives saying that base on the management principle, when there is no enough money, determine priorities that are needed to be taken first considerations.

According to Sec. Abad, local officials as well as the regional heads of offices should set priorities and make sure that those projects and programs must have impact in the national investment plan of the country.

Sec. Abad also advised the officials that engaging investors in a multi-year program is a good thing to do. Through this, the region can have alternative source of income without depending too much to the national government.

During the visit of the DBM chief, he presented the six social contracts of the President that includes anti-corruption; transparency and accountability; rapid, equitable, inclusive growth; just and lasting peace, especially in the countryside; building a highly-motivated and energized bureaucracy and; sustainable development with climate change adaptation at its core.

It can be recalled that on January 14, 2011, Pres. Aquino instructed the officials of the local government units in the region to identify priorities in rehabilitating damaged infrastructures, agriculture, and properties resulting from massive flooding and landslides due to heavy and continuous rains brought about by northeast monsoon and tail-end of the cold front early this year. (PIA-Caraga)