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2:22 pm on 22 September 2022, Thursday
By Patricia Francia Lachica
Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman questioned the 2023 budget cut for infrastructures of Mindanao, where the lawmaker claimed the projects could be a source of employment.
“Bakit ganun kalaki ang pagtapyas ng pondo ng imprastraktura pagdating sa Mindanao? Ibig sabihin malaking trabaho ang mawawala, at tataas ang poverty incidence rates.” said Rep. Hataman.
(Why is there so much infrastructure budget cut when it comes to Mindanao? This means Mindanao will lose many jobs and will have an increase in poverty incidence rates)
He also asserted to push for more infrastructure funds for Mindanao and cited regional poverty incidences in the "war-ravaged island."
“Malinaw sa atin na ang infrastructure ay siyang lumilikha ng trabaho at lumilikha ng income sa madaming manggagawa sa construction, so malaking contribution ito sa pag-address ng poverty. At ang multiplier nyan ay yung peace and security sa mga lugar na tinatamaan ng imprastruktura,” Hataman said.
(It is clear that infrastructure creates jobs and generates income for many construction workers, significantly contributing to addressing poverty. And the multiplier of that is the peace and security in the areas that are hit by the infrastructure)
The lawmaker then asked if the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) considered the poverty incidence in formulating the proposed national budget.
“Ang tanong ko dito, paano ba ginamit ng DBCC ang datos na ito sa pagbuo ng National Expenditure Program para sa 2023? Kasi hindi ko po alam kung paano matutulungan ang mga rehiyon na nabanggit natin,” Hataman asked.
How did the DBCC use this data in developing the National Expenditure Program for 2023? Because I don't know how to help the regions we have mentioned)
Hataman further explained that Mindanao suffered a massive slash in infrastructure outlay, from P84.69 billion in 2022 to only P30.49 billion in 2023, totaling a whopping P54.2 billion cut from last year.
According to him, four out of the Top 5 poorest regions in the country, based on their poverty incidence, also came from Mindanao.
“Parang ang punto ko lang ay ito: kino-coordinate ito dapat ng DBCC dahil sila ang nakakita ng macro assumptions based dun sa mga sinubmit ng mga ahensya,” he added.
(I think my only point was this: DBCC should be coordinating this because they are the ones who saw the macro assumptions based on those submitted by the agencies)
“Alam naman nating malaki ang hinahabol ng Mindanao in terms of progress and development dahil naging entablado ito ng napakaraming digmaan. At ngayong may kapayapaan na, sana naman ay buhusan ng pondo dahil maraming rehiyon dito ang nakasadlak sa kahirapan,” Hataman ended.
(We know that Mindanao is chasing a lot in terms of progress and development because it has been the stage of several wars. And now that there is peace, I hope that funds will be poured because many regions here are mired in poverty)