In a bid to know the stand of local government units on the utilization of Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) funds for 2017, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) held a consultative meeting with key local chief executives on August 31 in Manila.

Among the five city mayors invited, Mayor Lina Montilla was the only city mayor to arrive and represent the National Executive Board of the League of Cities of the Philippines attended the DILG consultation on the utilization of BUB funds.

Four mayors who are chapter heads of League of Municipalities of the Philippines also attended the event.

DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero headed the consultation panel.

Spearheaded by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), the activity seeks to solicit the views of local chief executives relative to the BUB utilization next year.

Prior to the consultation, there is uncertainty as to the continuation of BUB implementation due to change of administration despite the fact that for 2017 National Expenditure Plan, the amount of P15.8 billion has already been listed under the Local Government Support Fund as BUB funds.

BUB is the government’s participatory budgeting program that provides subsidy to cities and municipalities intended for their poverty alleviation projects. Tacurong is a BUB recipient since 2015.

Among the crucial points discussed during the consultation was the move to remove the cities as BUB beneficiaries but Mayor Montilla insisted that there is a need to retain the cities on the list of LGU beneficiaries since that many lower class cities depend largely on the help provided by BUB funds.

The consultation arrived to a consensus that there is a need to continue the BUB program but the DILG said that there would be changes in the implementation guidelines. Moreover, there is a plan to rename the BUB to “Assistance to Disadvantaged LGUs”. By Allan S. Freno (LGU Tacurong City Information)