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ALONTO: Hike in Mindanao budget not enough

The project to the budget for Mindanao is not enough especially since there are priority projects that need to be implemented, a top official said Saturday.
Secretary Abul Khayr D. Alonto, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair, said that based on the proposed national budget, which the bicameral conference committee of Congress approved last week, Mindanao will get about 16%, or about P586 billion, way higher than the 12% annually that it got in the past.
Alonto, however, said that the budget for Mindanao is way less even with the 20% that the agency has been lobbying.
“MinDA has been lobbying for a bigger budget share,” he said, even as he added that the increase in the budget was better as it is “the first time that we have gone beyond the 9% – 11% since the establishment of this republic.”
Alonto said his agency will continue lobbying for the increase in Mindanao budget as he pointed out that “Mindanao, for equity’s sake, deserves a minimum of 32% of the national expenditure.”
He added the money is not enough to fund even the priority projects, or the 12 catalytic projects, which the agency has identified. “Though there iss an increase of up to 4%, is not enough to see tangible results for the overall requirement of the catalytic projects, we have to do more,” he said.
With the lack of budget, Alonto said that they will resort to prioritization as projects with bigger with bigger impact for the island will get funded first.

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