September 23, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Secretary Ismael “Mike” D. Sueno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today said that the new Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) program of the Department is ‘pro-poor and pro-people.’
Sueno said the ADM is an improved version of the previous administration’s Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program, which covered all cities and municipalities in the country regardless of their level of income.
“With the ADM program, we are focusing our resources on the local governments that need them most,” he said.
The DILG Secretary said that while the concept of BuB is commendable, considering that the people were empowered to decide and implement the projects that would best benefit them, there is a need to pour the funds to the poorest local government units (LGUs).
Sueno assured that DBM and DILG do not have conflicting views on allocating the budget to the local communities, and that this would be based first and foremost on equitability.
He said that he is in agreement with DBM Secretary Diokno in that the budget program should stay equitable and impartial in its coverage, and be pro-poor and pro-people – as originally envisioned by the late Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, who first implemented BuB.
“What we will do with the Assistance to the Disadvantaged Municipalities program, is adapt what we saw as the positive takeaway from BuB – that is, the pro-poor, pro-people approach,” he added.
The P2.8 billion appropriated to the Assistance to the Disadvantaged Municipalities program will be allocated to municipalities for the use of potable water and other projects. DBM and DILG will work together in the allocation of the funds to municipalities based on the number of poor families in residences, vulnerability to disaster, etc.
It was learned that Eastern Visayas municipalities will receive a total of about 1.7 Billion pesos in projects through the DILG ranging from water systems, evacuation facilities, access roads or small water impounding projects.
“Our first priority in the Duterte administration is development from the grassroots, from the poorest barangays and municipalities. We promised that we would make them our focus, so they will be the target of our budget reforms. We will stick also to the core of being pro-poor, pro-people – hindi magbabago ang thrust na yan,” Sueno said.