Neda: Marawi fund is not pork barrel
This is regarding Inquirer’s article “Unprogrammed budget eyed to fund Marawi rehab” (12/10/18).
The P5-billion Bangon Marawi Fund in the Unprogrammed Appropriations of the General Appropriations Act 2018 serves a specific purpose, i.e., for the rehabilitation of Marawi. It is not a “pork barrel” fund.
The total cost of rehabilitation was not yet known at the time the General Appropriations Bill 2018 was being deliberated in Congress. At the time, the Bangon Marawi comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery program was still in the preparation stage and the most affected area or “ground zero” was still being cleared of unexploded bombs, so there was no detailed program yet.
The fund was also transparently designed, as the GAA 2018 clearly stated the conditions for which the unprogrammed appropriations can be availed of, namely:
(a) When there are excess revenue collections in any of the identified nontax revenue sources from the corresponding revenue collection target in Tables C.1 and C.4 of the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF);
(b) When there are new revenue collections or those arising from new tax or nontax sources which are not part of, nor included, in the original revenue sources reflected in Table C.3 and C.4 of the BESF; or
(c) When there are approved loans for foreign-assisted projects. (The BESF tables are available at the Department of Budget and Management website under its publications.)
The said fund can be tapped when the mentioned conditions are present and when Task Force Bangon Marawi submits to the DBM a program of funding request, and the DBM in turn accepts such program.
ADORACION M. NAVARRO, undersecretary, Regional Development Office, Neda