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P1.2 trillion in additional budget needed by Mindanao: exec

Mindanao must get an additional budget of P1.2 trillion spread in the next four years on top of its regular budget for it to be able to sustain its economic growth and catch up with the rest of the country, a top official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said Wednesday.

At the weekly Wednesdays@Habi at Kape –Abreeza, Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro, MinDA deputy executive director, said that by adding about P300 billion within the next four years, budget for Mindanao will increase to about 21% from the average of 12% during the last five years.

“To be able to keep up in the national productivity and considering the contribution of Mindanao to the national growth, and considering decades of neglect to Mindanao, we have always been fighting for a 30% budget allocation for Mindanao,” said Montenegro.

Montenegro said the agency has been coordinating with other national government agencies, aside from focusing its push for additional budget before Congress and the executive department, to realize the request.

MinDA, in its report, said that this year, Mindanao is getting about P470 billion of the P3.767 trillion annual national government budget. Its share is 12.48% of the national budget.

In terms of its contribution to the gross domestic product, Mindanao, between 2014 and 2016, contributed between 14.8 and 15% even as it exhibited a huge gross domestic growth of 7.1% last year as three of its region, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, surpassed the national growth of 6.5%.
With the budget increase, Mindanao will slowly be able to sustain its economic growth and at the same time reduce poverty incidence.


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