BARMM parliament OKs P79.8-B budget for 2022

More development projects and pro-people initiatives are assured of implementation next year after the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) passed the proposed PHP79.862-billion budget for 2022.

“The region’s 2022 budget is six percent higher than this year’s PHP75.6 billion budget,” said BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong in a statement Wednesday.

The BARMM’s Cabinet Bill 155 that carried the budget’s approval got 59 “yes,” zero “no,” and zero “abstain” votes.

The region’s 2022 budget was approved by the BTA during a special session on Tuesday night at the BARMM government center in this city.

The 80-member BTA is the BARMM’s provisional lawmaking body.

Balindong said the members of parliament (MPs) have approved the Bangsamoro Expenditure Program (BEP) for 2022 on third and final reading an hour after the plenary passed the measure on second reading.

“The BEP was certified as urgent by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, in effect waiving the three-day mandatory interval between the second and third reading of measures,” he said.

The 2022 budget proposal is contained in Cabinet Bill 155, entitled “An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Bangsamoro Government from January 1 to December 31, 2022 and for other purposes.”

Lawyer Ubaida Pacasem, deputy BARMM minister of finance, budget, and management, said the funds would be utilized to spur recovery initiatives from the coronavirus disease 2019 economic recession.

The 2022 budget will cover regular activities directly addressing the ministries’ and offices’ mandates, such as purchasing goods and services for day-to-day operations; delivery of public services; conducting basic governance; or providing general management and supervision of the entire Bangsamoro government.

The Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) got the biggest chunk of the budget allocation of PHP24.7 billion; followed by the Ministry of Public Works (PHP16.3-B); Office of the Chief Minister (PHP8-B); and the Ministry of Health (PHP4.6-B).

This is the second time MBHTE received the biggest slice of the budget. Its 2021 budget is PHP23.2 billion.

The BARMM’s main source of revenue is the block grant, which is automatically appropriated in the General Appropriations Act to the Bangsamoro (GAAB) and released immediately and comprehensively to the Bangsamoro government.

This is equivalent to five percent of the net national internal revenue tax collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year.

The Special Development Fund, as stated in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, has become a source of funds for Bangsamoro development initiatives across the region.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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