The Regional Development Council VIII endorsed PhP190 Billion worth of FY 2018 Budget Proposals of 34 agency regional offices (AROs) and ten state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Eastern Visayas during its First Quarter 2017 Full Council Meeting held on 22 March 2017 at the Felipina Hall, NEDA VIII Bldg., Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

The Council endorsement was based on the recommendations made by its four sectoral committees on the budget proposals of their respective member agencies. The bulk of the budget (56% or PhP 106.7 billion) is alloted to human capital development as endorsed by the Social Development Committee. The Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (IUDC) proposed for the endorsement of PhP68.9 billion (36%). Economic Development Committee (EDC) proposed for the endorsement of PhP9.07 billion (5%); and the Development Administration Committee (DAC) proposed for the endorsement of PhP5.9 billion (or 3%).

The budget review was presided over by the new RDC VIII Chair, Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez, and attended by the Leyte 1st District Representative Hon. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, Southern Leyte Lone District Representative Hon. Roger G. Mercado, and Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Undersecretary Ferdinand B. Cui, Jr.

The budget proposals endorsed are all in line with the projects spelled out in the Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022. These include reducing inequality in opportunities for human development, maximizing demographic dividend, building resiliency of individuals and families, promoting the culture of Eastern Visayas and values reformation, accelerating infrastructure development, promoting post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery, expanding economic opportunities, ensuring security, public order and safety, pursuit of fair administration of justice, and ensuring people-centered, clean and efficient governance.

The RDC VIII Budget Review for FY 2018 is consistent with National Budget Memorandum (NBM) No. 127, which prescribes the procedures in the preparation of the annual budgets of the government in pursuit of reforms in the Public Financial Management (PFM) and Public Expenditure Management (PEM), and Executive Order No. 325, s. 1997, as amended.

The budget proposals approved will be submitted through the agency central offices to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for consideration in the National Executive Budget for 2018.

Photos by Timothy John Canes, Tacloban City