EXAMINING THE BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS

REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO (BARMM)

BUDGET FOR FY 2020


Angelito Niño Presentacion C. Verzosa, Jr.

Atty. Dion Lorenz L. Romano
Project Manager, Access Bangsamoro Project

Please address all inquiries to:
Ateneo Policy Center
Ateneo School of Government,
Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Fr. Arrupe Road,
Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University,
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights 1108


INTRODUCTION

The members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has approved the Php 65.9 billion budget for the fiscal year 2020. The timely approval of the budget before the close of fiscal year 2019 has been seen as one of the milestones of the BTA during its first year of transition period. The challenge remains, however, on the mechanism by which the Bangsamoro Government intends to implement the budget and the manner of budget release by the National Government.

It cannot be emphasized that the BARMM’s expenditure plan and budget play an important role to achieving the vision set forth by the BTA for the Bangsamoro through strategic allocation of resources and by having baseline data for evidence-based decision making in budgeting. It is crucial, then, for the BARMM to ensure that its financial resources would be responsive to the primary agenda of economic acceleration and growth in the region. Likewise, the adherence to the budget process must be exercised at all times and in every stage of the process. This ensures that the systems are transparent and participatory, which is a cornerstone of good governance that the BTA should exemplify during the transition phase and beyond.

In the study conducted by the World Bank, it analyzes that Bangsamoro Government has more extensive powers than the defunct ARMM. With the powers given to BARMM, the officials are obliged to implement transparency and accountability mechanisms, and promote the effective use of economic resources to sustain genuine development. The exercise of these values would strengthen the trust between the national government and the BARMM considering that the BARMM’s fiscal impact relies on national government budget transfers, particularly the block grant.1 Indeed, the BARMM Government has wide and sufficient fiscal support from the national government through the following fund sources: (i) block grant, (ii) special development fund, and (iii) expanded revenue sharing. As such, BARMM has been given powers that could be exercised as political and developmental platforms to influence fiscal policy in the region.

To look into the fiscal power of BARMM, this paper provides a general review of the 2020 BARMM Budget. It presents the sources of fund available to BARMM Government, the allocation per ministry and the key programs under it, the issues related to the budget process, emerging challenges in the region, and some recommendations to make the budget process more participatory, transparent, and responsive to the needs of the Bangsamoro people.

 

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[1] (page 56) http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/112671565137912477/pdf/Preparing-for-Effective-and-Robust-Financial-Management-in-the-Bangsamoro-Region.pdf


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Access Bangsamoro is an online and social media portal that promotes the free flow of information, analysis, and discussions for the effective implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the successful transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Access Bangsamoro is a project of the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) through the Ateneo Policy Center, in partnership with the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) under the Enhancing Political Dialogue for Inclusive Peace in the Bangsamoro (ENPOLD Bangsamoro). The project is made possible with the funding assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia.