DBM allocates ZERO budget for Mindanao peace


The prospect of lasting peace in Mindanao is in peril.

Everybody is praying for the success of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL, now officially called the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao [OLBARMM]) plebiscite on January 21 and February 6. Yet nobody is asking if we have the funds necessary to conduct the plebiscite.

I hate to be the one to burst the bubble. The DBM has not allocated a budget, not even a centavo, for the BOL plebiscite.

The Comelec needs P857 million for the BOL plebiscite. DBM Sec. Benjamin Dioko, however, forgot to include this amount in the P10 billion allocated for Comelec in the 2019 national budget.

Saan kukunin ng Comelec ang pondo para sa plebisito kung wala ito sa budget? Sa savings for 2018? Di ba sabi ni Sec. Diokno, wala siyang kapangyarihan na mag-release ng pondo kung wala ito sa national budget?

The budget for BOL plebiscite is not the only item which Sec. Diokno forgot to include in the 2019 budget. Even the budget for the BOL implementation is missing from budget documents submitted by the DBM to Congress.

Senate debate records show that the implementation of the BOL will cost P109 billion in the first year, P369 billion in the first three years, and will reach P1.981 trillion for a period of 10 years.

The amount does not include funds for social services like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, and pension for senior citizens.

Also not included in his estimate was an annual outlay for the maintenance of airports, wharves, roads, bridges, and irrigation.

Kung hindi mapopondohan ang BOL, paano natin mapapaniwala ang mga kapatid natin sa Mindanao na seryoso tayo sa usaping pangkapayapaan? Malayo na ang narating ng usaping ito. Huwag naman sanang mabale-wala dahil sa kapabayaan ng isang tao.

SOURCE: Press Statement of Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. Re: Absence of budget may imperil BOL implementation. 15 January 2019 08:40:52 AM. Press and Public Affairs Bureau of the House of Representatives. www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=11184

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