By: Herzon F. Gallego
Butuan City – DENR-13 Regional Director Nonito M. Tamayo is seeking to justify the P1.1 Billion budget of the DENR Caraga Region for 2017 before a Senate Budget hearing this week. “We have several projects and programs that were lined-up next year” Director Tamayo said.
RD Tamayo joins the other Regional Directors of the DENR in the 14 regional offices, National Capital Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region (Baguio City) who were asked by the DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez to be present at her side while she defend the budget of the DENR which is about P 28.67 Billion for 2017. This budget shall be used to fund programs to protect the environment and improve the living conditions of marginalize communities.
The proposed budget for 2017 of the DENR as a whole is about 31 percent higher than the budget allocation in 2016 of P21.8 B.
Secretary Lopez has been insisting that she wants a bigger budget of P 28.67 B to help the DENR fulfill its commitment to social justice through the implementation of environment protection programs anchored on convergence and area development approach.
Sec. Lopez said the DENR’s main challenge in seeking a bigger budget for 2017 is to raise the quality of life in communities that are the primary stakeholders and pursue measures that will optimize their growth potentials.
The DENR she said would be working closely with the civil society groups, the scientists, and social entrepreneurs to turn its programs and projects into income-generating enterprises for local communities. One of these programs is the expanded National Greening Program, the government’s flagship reforestation program which hopefully will turn into a tool to improve the lives of the poor. For 2017, the DENR is seeking a budget allocation for the enhanced NGP of P9.4 billion.
The major programs of the DENR next year aside from the E-NGP are responsible mining, forest protection, and biodiversity conservation.
For 2017, forest protection will have an allocation of P 674 million, biodiversity conservation program, P763 million; coastal and marine eco-system program, P633 million, land administration and management, P568 million; research and development, P90 million; and the Manila Bay clean-up program, P 80 million.
The 2017 proposed budget will also cover two major Foreign-assisted projects being implemented by the DENR totaling around P2 billion as government share for the forest management project and the integrated natural resources and environment management project.
The Environmental Management Bureau proposed budget next year is P1.6 Billion; Mines and Geo Sciences Bureau, P688 million; and the DENR’s line bureau and attached agencies, P3.4 Billion.
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