No budget for Bangsamoro Organic Law

Rolando Andaya Jr.

WHERE is the budget for the Bangsamoro Organic Law?  House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. yesterday asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

According to Andaya, the absence of funding for BOL this 2019 will affect the peace process desired by every Filipino in Mindanao.

“The prospect of lasting peace in Mindanao is in peril,” Andaya said in his privilege speech.

Andaya lamented that while Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno managed to insert outlays for flood control and other infrastructure projects, the Secretary failed to allocate funds for the BOL plebiscite.

Already a law, the BOL aims at replacing the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and creating a Bangsamoro government.

“Everybody is praying for the success of the BOL plebiscite on January 21 and February 6. Yet nobody is asking if we have the funds necessary to conduct the plebiscite,” Andaya said. 

“I hate to be the one to burst the bubble. The DBM has not allocated a budget, not even a centavo, for the BOL plebiscite,” he added.

The Commission on Elections needs P857 million for the BOL plebiscite.

Andaya said Diokno forgot to include this amount in the P10 billion allocated for Comelec in the 2019 national budget.

“Saan kukunin ng Comelec ang pondo para sa plebisito kung wala ito sa budget? Sa savings for 2018? Di ba sabi ni Sec. Diokno, wala siyang kapangyarihan na mag-release ng pondo kung wala ito sa national budget?” Andaya stressed.

The budget for BOL plebiscite is not the only item which Sec. Diokno forgot to include in the 2019 budget, Andaya added.

Even the budget for the BOL implementation is missing from budget documents submitted by the DBM to Congress.