Resolution gets bipartisan support in lower house
Members of both the majority and minority blocs expressed their support for the continuation of the Bottom-Up-Budgeting or BuB projects in the 2017 national budget. Siquijor Representative Rav Rocamora, author of Joint Resolution No. 04, called on President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the BuB.
He called the P 38 billion worth of projects as a collaborative product of people’s involvement in government and lamented that such a breakthrough in democratizing the national budget might go to waste if discontinued.
“The more than 13,600 projects are all the result of tireless effort and consultations with the public that government should serve. If we discontinue it, we might be sending the wrong message to our constituents. Instead of welcoming the public’s involvement in a very crucial function of government we are shutting them out,” according to Rocamora.
Rocamora meanwhile lauded the bipartisan support the resolution has received with members from both the minority and majority crossing aisles to support the continuation of the BuB.
“Representatives from both the majority and minority are supporting the continuation of the BuB because they see its impact on their constituents.
Rocamora also insisted that the BuB should be an institutionalized program of government available to all cities and municipalities and not just 5th or 6th class municipalities in reference to DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s idea of limiting the BuB to poorer LGus
“Sec. Diokno may have doubts regarding the program. But the proof is in the pudding. Also, limiting it to poorer municipalities might not have the desired impact of reducing poverty because there are also poor people in large and wealthy cities. In fact, impoverished communities in wealthier cities have larger populations than entire municipalities,” Rocamora added.
BuB a good testing ground for shift to federalism
The neophyte lawmaker also touted the BuB as an essential mechanism to ensure that federalism can succeed.
“Federalism is simply about the devolution of power from the center to the fringes of society. The BuB during the few years it was implemented devolved power to the grassroots by empowering the basic sectors in taking part in government,” he said.
“Any form of government, whether unitary or federal, cannot succeed unless you have an active citizenry engaged in governance,” Rocamora stressed.
Aside from Rocamora, the other signatories to the resolution include fellow majority member Pampanga 1st district Representative Carmelo Lazatin III; and Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Akbayan Representative Tomasito Villarin, both of whom are with the minority. Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the counterpart measure in the Senate.