Infra gets lion’s share in Ilocos 2019 budget


VIGAN CITY — The infrastructure sector was allotted with ₱71 billion which comprise 54.8 percent of the region’s ₱129 billion allocation for the 2019 proposed budget, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-1) regional office bared last June. The Department of Public Works and Highways will implement the projects.

“The said budget will be primarily available for the rehabilitation, and improvement of infrastructure, like roads, bridges, flood control facilities and water supply,” said Brix Caeser Cafuir, supervising economic development specialist of NEDA-1.

Last year, NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia disclosed the government’s target of ₱8-9 trillion infrastructure spending under the term of Duterte, an average of ₱1.5 trillion expenditures annually.

Most of these infrastructures are included in the 55 flagship projects, of which, 40 are part of the six-year development program under the Philippine-Chinese economic cooperation agreement. Among those to be implemented in Ilocos region are the Ilocos Norte Irrigation Project Phase 2 and Gregorio del Pilar Impounding Project.

Second biggest chunk is for the social sector with ₱35 billion. The budget includes the allocations for the Department of Education procurement of education facilities, Department of Health’s facilities and enhancement program, and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Meanwhile, the economic, environment and governance sectors are allocated with ₱19 billion, ₱2.24 billion and ₱0.34 billion respectively.

Cafuir said the proposed budget was the result of the regional budget consultation conducted in March, adding that it is “still subject for approval by Congress and the President in December 2018.”

In April, NEDA conducted a dialogue facilitated by the agency’s Regional Development Committee to harmonize the priority programs and projects in the national and regional levels. Included in NEDA’s mandate is to promote the rational allocation of resources across regions. #