DAVAO CITY (03 October 2020) – Surigao del Norte Second District Representative Robert ‘Ace’ Barbers yesterday pushed for a more reasonable and viable annual budget for fiscal year 2021 for the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) to help the agency move and realize its sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Mindanao.
During the budget deliberation yesterday, 02 October 2020, at the House of Representatives in Quezon City which was virtually witnessed by SPDA officials in Davao City led by Administrator and Chief Executive Officer ABDULGHANI ’Gerry’ AJUL SALAPUDDIN, Barbers had sought for a bigger budgetary allocation for the Authority next year in order to effectively fulfill its mandate to spur socio-economic development in Mindanao by initiating and undertaking business projects of corporate and economic in nature to speed up growth that creates more and better jobs and reduces poverty in the island.
Sponsored by Zamboanga City Second District Representative Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) had originally proposed for a 13 billion peso (P13,000,000,000.00) for its fiscal year 2021 budget, however, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had only recommended a meager 76 million peso (P76,000,000.00) allocation for the same year which can only finance the agency’s operating expenses and salaries of its employees.
“SPDA has a very wide scope of operation in Mindanao with an estimated population of more than 25 million inhabitants, how can this agency fulfill its mandates and unlock Mindanao’s potentials that may bring down extreme poverty in the countryside and help strengthen the prospects for peace if its budget next year is merely for agency’s existence and survival?”, Barbers quipped, and expressed hope that the national government would appropriate the needed funds “to make all things happen” with the new administration of SPDA headed by former Basilan Governor Abdulghani ‘Gerry’ Ajul Salapuddin.
With Barbers’ vigorous manifestation of support to SPDA’s quest for a sufficient budget next year, Administrator Salapuddin and the Authority’s department managers had expressed gratitude to the lawmaker and to the sponsorship of Congressman Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe. (Celestino B. Siglos, Ed.D.)