NCIP budget breezes through House panel

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

September 16, 2021, 5:51 pm

MANILA – The House Committee on Appropriations terminated the briefing on the PHP1.432-billion budget proposal of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for 2022 within five minutes after the discussion started on Thursday.

Quezon City Rep. Allan Benedict Reyes, a vice chairman of the panel, moved for the termination of the NCIP budget hearing after no interpellations were made.

Of the NCIP’s PHP1.432-billion proposed budget, PHP244.825 million would be allotted to the Central Office, while PHP1.187 billion would be for regional allocations.

The NCIP would allot PHP829.8 million for Personnel Service, PHP492.56 million for Maintenance and Operating Expenses (MOOE), and PHP110 million for Capital Outlay.

Meanwhile, the amount of PHP94.871 million would be appropriated for the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program. It would be used exclusively to implement projects in conflict-affected areas.

During the same day, the panel also swiftly terminated the briefing on the 2022 budget proposal of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) amounting to PHP685.237 billion after two hours of deliberation.

Catanduanes Rep. Hector Sanchez pushed for the augmentation of the agency’s proposed funding to better implement its initiatives, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral said around PHP216.064 billion has been allocated to ensure a safe and reliable national road system, as well as PHP109.792 billion geared at protecting lives and properties against major floods.

The agency highlighted its accomplishments for 2021, including 6.5 million jobs generated; 29,264 kilometers of roads built, improved, and rehabilitated; 11,340 flood control projects completed; 150,149 classrooms and 222 evacuation centers constructed; 727 quarantine and isolation facilities established.

Cabral noted that the DPWH continues to be committed to carrying out the “Build, Build, Build” Program, as well as the effective Traffic Decongestion Program, Integrated and Seamless Transport System, Convergence and Rural Road Development Program, and Livable, Sustainable, and Resilient Communities. (PNA)