DUMAGUETE CITY, Nov. 17 (PIA) — Close to 400 leaders of civil society organizations (CSOs) and different local government units (LGUs) in Negros Oriental and Siquijor joined the launching of “Milyong Mga Pirma Alang sa Bottom-up Budgeting” campaign last week to express support to the budget reform initiative of the Aquino Administration.
The civil society group Kilos Mamamayan (KM) led the launching of the campaign during the Local Poverty Reduction Action Teams (LPRAT) orientation organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) on November 13.
The campaign aims to gather million signatures from different CSOs and LGUs to ensure the continuous implementation of the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) process that involves stakeholders from the grassroots level.
KM national secretary Marco Polo Ferrer explained these signature campaign documents will be presented to DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and to some members of the House of Representatives who vowed to lobby for the institutionalization of BUB.
“We want to convince our lawmakers that the people support the move to institutionalize the BUB. This way, the program will be implemented by the country’s next president who we are looking forward to be reform-oriented and has a solid track record for good and honest service,” Ferrer said.
The highlight of the campaign was the symbolic signing on the wall of commitment by the participants.
Copies of the “Milyong Lagda” signature campaign documents will be spread by the group through its network of CSOs based in Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
“We must take action to ensure that this reform measure will be sustained beyond the Aquino administration,” he adds.
The BUB was introduced in 2011 by the late Sec. Jesse Robredo during his stint at DILG.
The BUB process focuses on engaging for 300 to 400 of the poorest municipalities identified by the Cabinet’s Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) cluster.
Local-level engagement will be facilitated via relevant government agencies, local community leaders, LGUs, and partner civic organizations.
As of now, Sec. Roxas is currently pursuing implementing various anti-poverty programs in coordination with different national government agencies covering 1,226 LGUs across the country with a proposed inter-agency budget amounting to P20.1 billion for 2015.
During the LPRAT orientation, heads of participating CSOs and LGUs discussed some proposals that will help strengthen the program.
Meanwhile, KM also did similar activities in other provinces over the past two months.
Last Nov. 10 and 11, the campaign was also launched in Cebu.
Aside from Cebu, the campaign was also launched in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija for Region 3, Naga City, Camarines Sur for Region 5, and Iloilo City in Iloilo for Region 6 to advocate for the institutionalization the program through an act of Congress.
Ferrer emphasized that they are determined to gather a million signatures as proof of a solid support of the people for continuous implementation of the BUB process. (rmn/ral/PIA7-NegOr with reports from KM)