Photo Courtesy of PNA

DBM okays release of P5-B fund for conflict-affected areas in BARMM

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Wednesday, May 24, that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will receive P5 billion fund for the rehabilitation of its conflict-affected communities.

The DBM said in a news release that Secretary Amenah Pangandaman approved the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) amounting to P5 billion for the Special Development Fund (SDF) of the BARMM.

“The release of the fund is in accordance with Section 2, Article XIV of Republic Act 11054, that the National Government shall provide the SDF with P5 billion annually, for a period of 10 years, to the BARMM Government ‘for the rebuilding, rehabilitation, and development of its conflict-affected communities,’” the DBM said.

Pangandaman said "Tulad po ng ipinangako ko, at alinsunod po sa tagubilin ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, patuloy po ang DBM na aalalay sa BARMM sa abot ng aming makakaya. We will ensure that we will help in its smooth transition process and strengthening its communities."

“Umaasa po kami na magagamit ng wasto ang pondong ito para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga komunidad sa BARMM. We hope that BARMM takes advantage of this funding by fully utilizing it to help those in need, and to improve areas that needs further development,” Pangandaman said.

The DBM recalled that the most recent conflict to have erupted in BARMM was the five-month siege of Marawi City from May 23 to October 23, 2017. 

“The clash resulted in P17 billion in property damage and lost opportunities, according to Task Force Bangon Marawi, the government inter-agency body in charge of rehabilitation efforts in the conflict zone,” the DBM said.

The DBM cited a report by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) in 2018 that claimed “in an initial estimate that at least P49.8 billion is needed to restore affected parts of Marawi.”

“The allocations shall be directly released by the Bureau of Treasury to the BARMM Government through an authorized government servicing bank (AGSB), subject to cash programming by the National Government,” the DBM said.

According to the DBM, the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. allotted P64.76 billion for BARMM’s Annual Block Grant; P5.0 billion as Special Development Fund (SDF) for the rebuilding, rehabilitation, and development of conflict-affected communities; and P4.59 billion for its share in taxes, fees, and charges collected in the region.