ARMM LGUS pledge P4.2B for program funds

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

DAVAO CITY – Local government units (LGUS) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) pledged a total of P4.196 billion to fund programs for their constituents in support of the ARMM Regional Development Framework 2016-2019.

Local officials from across the region drafted the programs, projects, services and activities (PPSA) during the 3rd ARMM Local Government Summit held from November 30 to December 1 at the SM Lanang Premier’s SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

Atty. Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, ARMM’S Interior and Local Government Secretary, said the development framework represents the aspirations of the ARMM constituents reflecting different concerns in every province and town.

The plans will be implemented in 2018 and 2019 and would be bankrolled by development funds from each LGU addressing issues of poverty, socio-economic, security, disaster preparedness, and infrastructure.

The PPSA was aligned with the ARMM Regional Development Framework, which is anchored on six fronts:

agri-fishery development under rural development;

functional LGUS, improved regional government service delivery, and increased people’s participation under good governance at all levels;

anti-terrorism, illegal drugs, and crimes under public order and security;

health and nutrition, education, livelihood, water and sanitation, and social welfare and protection under basic services for all;

disaster preparedness, response and rehabilitation and environmental protection and management under climate change adaptation, and disaster resiliency; and,

infrastructure support for all components.

“The framework is a key instrument for the LGUS to properly and equitably allocate development funds to ensure improvements of welfare of communities,” Sec. Abdullah said. Most of the development funds, he added, were concentrated on alleviating poverty in region, being the poorest in the country.

In the first quarter of 2015, ARMM’S poverty incidence was tracked at 53.4% with Lanao del Sur and Sulu posting 70.2% and 61.8% poverty incidences, respectively.

In the past years, the bulk of funds of the ARMM annual budget went to infrastructure with roughly P20 billion allocated to that sector in 2015.

“In the last three years, nag-focus po tayo sa infrastructure, and in the next three years, we will focus on anti-poverty programs,” ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said. By 2019, the region’s poverty incidence will be reduced to 30% through a convergence of government efforts.

For 2017, a total of P111.209 million development funds of LGUS across the region were allocated to four major sectors, namely general services, economic services, social services and environmental services.

The bulk of the fund went to economic services, or 60.12% of the total amount, equivalent to P67 million. General services received the least amount, or P7 million, comprising 6.36% of the total.

“Ito ang tutukan natin for the coming years; ‘yung LGUS because we believe that kapag nag-function ang local government units natin, it will address many of our problems na hinaharap ng ARMM lalong lalo na ‘yung sa security at poverty incidence,” Sec. Abdullah added.

Carrying the theme “Pagkamulat, Pagbabago at Pag-unlad”, the event was aimed at upscaling local government performance and determining the state of local development and governance in the region.

President Rodrigo Duterte was guest speaker at the closing of the summit. Speaking before local leaders, estimated at over 480, the President reassured his commitment to the development of the Bangsamoro.

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