MANILA—Years of patronage politics and mendicancy that forced local executives to travel all the way to Metro Manila to beg for funds may finally come to an end with reforms in the budgeting process with the implementation of the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB), according to former Senator Panfilo M. Lacson.
Lacson, who is running again for a Senate seat in the May 9 elections, said his own version of the Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE), which is almost identical to BUB, seeks to empower local executives by giving them a bigger share of the budget.
“You will be the ones to plan and implement your own local development programs, with the additional funds that would come from the reforms provided for by BRAVE,” he said.
If BRAVE is implemented properly, he said local officials need not travel all the way to national government offices in Metro Manila to seek funding for their development projects.
Lacson said BRAVE can end the culture of mendicancy and patronage politics by providing: Php1 billion for each of the country’s 81 provinces; Php100 million for each of the country’s 1,490 municipalities; Php300 million for each of the country’s 144 cities; Php5 million for each of the country’s 42,026 barangays.
All of these, if spent for local development projects, can generate jobs and lure people in the metropolis to the provinces.
Such amounts are on top of the local government units’ internal revenue allotments for local development.
Yet, Lacson pointed out that local government official recipients are not being consulted in the yearly budget call. Instead, only national government agencies are consulted.
Such lack of consultation with the local executives may result in poor planning in budget preparation, and in turn lead to lump sums and realignments, he said.