No 2016 budget for Negros Island Region

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – There is no 2016 budget for the newly-created Negros Island Region (NIR).

Negros Occidental Planning and Development officer Ma Lina Sanogal said that under the proposed 2016 budget, the budget of the two provinces comprising the NIR remains with the regions where they previously belonged to.

The NIR was created through Executive Order (EO) 183, signed by President Benigno Aquino III on May 29. The order separated Negros Occidental from Western Visayas (Region VI), and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas (Region VII).

Sanogal said the budget of the two provinces is still included in their previous regions because there was no time to go over the budget again with all the line agencies.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has noted that line agencies can later on submit a budget proposal includion in next year’s supplemental budget.

Sanogal added that the DBM released a draft of the budget circular, stating that line agencies can utilize their savings for capital outlay expense and relocation allowance for its personnel.

The draft budget circular is expected to be signed next month, at the Technical Working Group meeting.

Negros Oriental Vice Governor Edward Mark Macias said it’s not a problem if there’s no budget for the NIR next year.

He added that the EO was signed “late,” which was why it was not included in the proposed 2016 General Appropriations Act.

“At first, we were pushing to include Negros Island Region in the budget through amendments but we did not make it,” the vice governor said.

“Anyway, it is only the first year. There is still next year. By then, we can have the budget already,” he added.

He said that 2016 will be the first year of operation of the new region. –