Highlights: The CPBRD, in cooperation with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), sponsored a lecture based on the paper of Dr. Rosario Manasan titled, “Assessment of the Bottom-up Budgeting Process for FY 2015”.
The BuB added value to overall planning-budgeting process. Specifically, the BuB increased fiscal space for local government units (LGUs), enabled LGUs to get information from sectors whose needs and concerns are typically not considered in the planning-budgeting process, encouraged basic sectors to organize themselves, capacitated civil society organizations (CSOs) through learning-by-doing experience, and provided more structured avenue for LGU-CSO interaction.
In response to the presentation, Ms Pamela Manalo of CPBRD raised several issues concerning the BuB and the findings of the study. For instance, learnings from the BuB in terms of mainstreaming civil society participation can be introduced to improve planning-budgeting process prescribed under the Local Government Code (i.e. through the Local Development Council). Moreover, as BuB is now being used to incentivize LGUs to comply with the Seal of Good Housekeeping, it is deemed important for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to identify problem areas that disqualify LGUs from getting the Seal. As a complementary measure, capacity building efforts of the DILG should be geared towards facilitating compliance to the Seal.
Ms. Manalo also raised issues relating to: (1) the process of prioritizing projects of LGUs and CSOs, and the need to encourage more projects jointly-identified by LGUs and CSOs; (2) the strategic identification of projects anchored on evidence-based and comprehensive Poverty Analysis; (3) the over-representation by more organized CSOs which put marginalized sectors on the sidelines; (4) the need to look deeper into the quality of CSO participation, and (5) the more crucial role of CSOs in addressing the gap in monitoring and evaluation of government programs/projects.
Also present during the lecture were ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio, former Negros Oriental Representative Herminio Teves, and 31 Congressional Staffs. The Executive Department was represented by DOH Dir. Eric Tayag, and 13 officers and staff from DOLE, DENR, DSWD, and DA. Also in attendance were officers and staff of the House Committee Affairs Department, Reference and Research Bureau, Legal Department and CPBRD.
Other issues, comments and suggestions raised during the open forum were as follows:
- The BuB projects are semblances of the old Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). It was countered that the BuB is more transparent, participatory and rules-based.
- Project identification is limited to a pre-determined menu which tends to “mute” the poverty reduction objective of BuB.
- The case study is not geographically represented – i.e. the municipalities and cities were concentrated in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.
- The BuB process seems to overlap with or duplicate the function of the Local Development Council (LDC). According to Dr. Manasan, local executives have already adopted to two parallel systems.
- BuB best practices and relevant experience can inform future amendments to the Local Government Code.
Bottom-up Budgeting: Backgrounder by Ms. Rosario G. Manasan, Jr., Ph. D., PIDS
Assessment of Bottom-up Budgeting: FY 2016 Cycle by Ms. Rosario G. Manasan, Jr., Ph. D., PIDS