BANGSAMORO BUDGET. BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, assisted by Bangsamoro Transition Authority Speaker Pangalian Balindong, raises the proposed PHP85.2 billion for 2023 before parliament members on Monday (Sept. 26, 2022). The biggest chunk of the proposed budget goes to the social services sector, with a PHP36.9 billion allotment. (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office -BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim is confident the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will approve the proposed PHP85.3 billion budget for next year.
 
“The proposed budget will hopefully bring us to that point in the future when connected from this point where we are now, will draw a line of sustained progress,” Ebrahim said in a statement Wednesday.

Under the proposed allocation, which Ebrahim filed Monday, the biggest chunk is allotted for the social services sector with a PHP36.9 billion budget.

Ebrahim said the regional government also prioritizes programs on social services, education, culture, and manpower development; subsidy to local government units (LGUs); social security, welfare and employment; and health.

“This plan will hopefully transform BARMM to become a better environment for our people who shall enjoy the benefits of a better economy,” he said.

More than PHP28 billion, the second highest in the budget allotment, are for the maintenance of public order and safety, political administration, law enforcement, and general administration such as general government, fiscal affairs, civil service, and lawmaking functions.
 
For economic services, Ebrahim proposed a total of PHP19.9 billion to fund interventions in communications, roads, and transportation facilities; agriculture, agrarian reform, and natural resources; water resources development and flood control; trade and industry; power and energy; and tourism.
 
About PHP250 million was also allotted for the peace and stability sector.

“As enablers of socioeconomic development, the peace and stability sector focuses its efforts on promoting peaceful and inclusive Bangsamoro society for sustainable development with access to justice and establishment of effective and accountable institutions,” Ebrahim said.

He encouraged his colleagues in the BTA to work together in making sure that the regional government's plans are expressed in the proposed budget.
 
The BARMM’s main source of revenue is the block grant, which is automatically appropriated in the General Appropriations Act to the Bangsamoro, and released immediately and comprehensively to the Bangsamoro government.

The grant is equivalent to 5 percent of the net national internal revenue tax collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs in the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year.

The government’s Special Development Fund, as stated in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, has become a source of funds for Bangsamoro development initiatives across the region. (PNA)