NEWS: No increases in MOOE, capital outlay in P624 M PG budget for 2009

Due to RDR on Wheels for the “political year”
oct 15
All departments of the Davao del Norte provincial government will be having no increase in their maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlay to scrimp more funds for a bigger budget for the priority projects under the overall RDR on Wheels program of Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.
In a phone interview yesterday, provincial budget officer Norma Lumain squelched reports that provincial departments would be suffering decreases in their MOOEs and zero capital outlay for next year, which observers considered to be already the “start of political year”.
“It’s not true. We’re only maintaining the 2008 budget level for the MOOE while the capital outlay proposals from departments are just deferred,”  Lumain said.
She said that the maintaining of budget is being made to give way to del Rosario’s priority programs such as the universal Philhealth coverage for all province-identified poor and indigents, which needs P28 million, and his commitment to give P1 million per barangay in the province.
She added that if the provincial government could share an increment from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government and would have savings, the capital outlay for the purchase of equipment and vehicles of departments “would be prioritized in the first supplemental budget next year.”
In the annual executive budget that Lumain expected to forward to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan yesterday, it proposed for the 2009 budget of P624,540,612, of which P568,311,612 is the IRA. The budget grew by 14.7 percent from last year’s P544,583,000.
But sources close to the provincial Local Finance Committee considered that budget proposals from all departments were cut and slashed by 20 to 30 percent or about P2 million to P3 million down, “gikaltasan tanan”.
“They need to raise about P153 million to meet the essential ones, about P121 million for the statutory obligations,” sources said.
They also said that departments badly need MOOE increases next year considering the spiralling prices in the market to render public services effectively.
Budget cuts and slashes though have been made in order to meet increases in salaries and wages and for new positions and jobs under the reorganization that would take effect by the coming December, they said.
Political observers who refused to be named told Sidlak that next year is a “political year” and naturally any incumbent reelectionist would need to have populist projects and services such as the giving of thousands of Philhealth cards aside positioning to create jobs especially the political ones.
Earlier, the governor’s son and provincial sports coordinator, Anthony del Rosario, said that the RDR on Wheels, a numenclature representing the governor’s priorities and thrusts in his administration, is accomplishing only 20% rate, short of its three-year target. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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