DESPITE President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to pour more money to the countryside, the National Capital Region still gets the biggest chunk of his P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017, with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao bagging the least in the first spending plan under his administration.
With about 66.3 percent, or P2.221 trillion of the total budget to be directly allocated to the 16 regions of the country, NCR, with 16 cities and one town, gets the highest share of the pie receiving a total P519.3 billion in 2017 which is 16.5 percent higher than the 2016 budget.
Allocations for NCR will include expenditures for national government offices, including the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President and the Legislature.
Region IV-A (Calabarzon) gets the next biggest budget share, with P120.8 billion which is 28.1 percent than last year; followed by Region III (Central Luzon) with P167.4 billion; Region VI (Western Visayas) with 139.0 billion; and Region VII (Central Visayas) with 123.3 billion.
Region V (Bicol) gets 120.8 billion; followed by Region X (Northern Mindanao) with P116.9 billion; Region VIII with P112.6 billion; Region XI (Davao Region) with P108.3 billiion; and Region I (Ilocos) with P98.1 billion.
Those getting the least portions of the pie: Region XII (Soccsksargen) with only P97.2 billion; Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with P90.3 billion; Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) with P80.4 billion; and Region XIII with P76.7 billion.
Cordillera Administrative Region gets only P56.4 billion while the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao gets the lowest appropriation with only P56.0 billion.
Luzon, excluding NCR, gets a total P782.2 billion in 2017, higher by 24.5 percent than in 2016; Visayas gets P374.9 billion, 25.6 percent more than in 2016; while Mindanao gets P545.5 billion, which is 37.5 percent higher than the 2016 level.
During the first election debate at Cagayan de Oro City, Duterte expressed his disgust over infrastructure projects that were mostly concentrated in Manila, leaving behind the countryside, especially Mindanao.
“You have to give us our share,” Duterte said, adding the government should give Mindanao their share of the public’s taxes.
Duterte earlier promised to banish the “Manila-centric” attitude in government where most of the funds were given to Metro Manila.
With this pronouncement, Duterte vowed to push for federalism to empower local governments to spur developments in their area.