Gov Padilla facilitates multisector Budget Forum
Provincial leaders and other stakeholders, mostly from the different offices of the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya (PGNV), converged on June 20, 2022 at the NV Conference Hall, LMET Park in Diadi to tackle the updated policies and guidelines in crafting the province’s proposed Annual Investment Plan for the fiscal year 2023 (AIP2023).
Also joining the group during the later sessions of the Budget Forum were NVSU’s OIC-President and erstwhile governor Ruth R. Padilla, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Floor Leader Patricio F. Dumlao, Jr. and Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative Samuel G. Balinhawang.
Governor Padilla, who set the policy direction for this provincial activity, also facilitated the discussions following the technical presentations of key PGNV officers that provided a leveling off of ideas among the participants, namely: Overview of the AIP2023, by Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Edgardo D. Sabado; Estimated Receipts and Possible Sources of Funds, by Provincial Treasurer Rhoda S. Moreno; and AIP2023 expenditure parameters and timetable, by Provincial Budget Officer Virginia N. Iglesias.
While emphasizing the need to pursue the prioritized programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) that remained unfinished or not implemented at all since his previous term, Governor Padilla reiterated the alignment of any proposals with the development strategies set under his administration’s PRAYERS N FAITH platform of governance, which he also stressed during his Executive-Legislative 2023-2025 Agenda planning session with PGNV officers last June 12-14 in Baguio City.
He said that the platform’s “(R)eform the Government” component is critical as it involves tough human resource management concerns, particularly in the case of PGNV personnel on Contract of Service and Casual employment status who have been perennially outnumbering permanent employees.
Based on the latest budget updates, there will be a reduction of about 14% in the National Tax Allotment (NATA) of LGUs on account of some major adverse local and international developments. This is one of the reasons behind the recent convening of the League of Governors of the Philippines. Governor Padilla said that their group adopted a two-pronged strategy to help address that predicament, to wit: back-channeling by a small group of governors, and filing of a case with the Supreme Court for a favorable interpretation of the Mandanas Ruling.
In view of the very limited funds and difficulties the province is facing ahead, Governor Padilla also challenged everyone to be more creative and innovative in implementing the PGNV’s PPAs, let go of obsolete or impractical policies due to changed circumstances, submit project proposals for fund sourcing elsewhere, more rational spending of funds intended for Capital Outlays (COs) and Miscellaneous Operating and Other Expenditures (MOOEs), and make hard decisions, if need be.
“We can be more productive and successful in all our endeavors for our province and people, for as long as we continue cooperating and supporting each other”, he added.
All told, he reminded the body about the important role of the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) created earlier which were mandated to undertake further studies thereon and submit recommendations on the following aspects for the consideration of all concerned: TWG-1, Prioritization of PPAs; TWG-2, Human resource requirements; TWG-3, Funding; and TWG-4, Policy support.