MANILA — The Palace has denied politicizing the government’s bottom-up budgeting, saying the scheme is meant to address poverty at the grassroots level.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the basis for the scheme is the Philippine Development Plan, which gives priority to poverty eradication and the achievement of inclusive growth.
“Batid naman natin na ang grassroot communities natin ay pinapangasiwaan ng mga local government units, kaya ang bottom-up budgeting ay isang paraan kung paano mapapalahok sa makabuluhang paraan ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan,” he said.
Coloma was addressing concerns aired by UP Professor Leonor Briones and former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno that the scheme, which focuses on anti-poverty projects being carried out by local government units (LGUs) currently under the supervision of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, might be used to groom the administration’s candidate for the presidential election in 2016.
Bottom-up budgeting began during the term of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
“Simula noon ay nakita natin ‘yung mas masiglang pagkilos ng mga local government units, ‘yung kanilang pagtalima sa mga citizen’s charter nila, ‘yung kanilang pagtiyak na ang kanilang ipinapatupad na programa ay mayroong partikular na layunin para itaas ang kalidad ng buhay ng kanilang mga mamamayan,” Coloma said.