Guided by the principle, “Breaking Frontiers, Building Communities”, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) program back in 2013, which has given the power to eligible Local Government Units (LGUs), thru their Municipal Planning and Development Councils,  to decide on what priority projects should be implemented in their respective areas of jurisdiction. In contrast to the top-down budgeting principle, wherein managers determine the needed funding for planned objectives, the idea of bottom-up approach is that the budgeting proposals shall come from “people who do the work” or the grassroots. The BuB, which is now known as Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) process is generally aimed to strengthen the participation of local communities in the formulation, and consequently the implementation of the national budget, the projects under this program may vary in nature, majority of which fall under the classification of potable water supply projects, some under local access roads, infrastructure projects like Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRR) and lastly non-DRR related projects. To ensure proper implementation of these projects the BuB Project Management Office was established under the DILG, with the primary function of providing overall coordination to all twelve (12) GPB (BuB) implementing agencies including the DILG itself. As preliminary requirement, all requesting LGUs are tasked to submit their initial documents like Feasibility Study (FS), Detailed Engineering Design (DED), and Program of Works (POW) which shall be subject for approval by the DILG, before the release of funds. For LGUs who are labeled as ineligible to implement GPB (BuB) Projects, the concerned National Government Agency (NGA) shall take charge of the project implementation.

Moreover, the GPB (BuB) program was set-up to help our country attain Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, along with inclusive growth and, of course, poverty reduction. Municipalities whose constituents rely partly or entirely in the sale or trading of their agricultural produce will greatly benefit from the opening and concreting of local access roads. In addition, more opportunities will also be given to constituents whose current locations are classified as “isolated” or “far-flung” areas, with consideration that opening of local roads will consequently introduce trade and commerce, which shall then alleviate the currently limited financial status of said group of individuals. Once accessible, said areas shall have equal chance for growth and development, not only in the business aspect but along side other facets like education which undeniably plays a vital role in the reduction and eventually the eradication of poverty. The completion of potable water supply projects, on the other hand, is also equally beneficial to all target constituents, since it assures that even financially incapable members of the community have free access to potable water, a basic necessity consumed on a daily basis.

The Municipality of Lamut, an eligible LGU having met the requirements set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), is very fortunate to have been awarded approval for the implementation of seventeen (17) GPB (BuB) Projects, which were spread among thirteen (13) barangays of the municipality, all of which were concreting of core local access roads namely:

Barangay Project Title Project Cost
Sanafe Purok 1 Php       500,000.00
Purok 2 500,000.00
Hapid Landing 500,000.00
Nunhabatan 1,000.000.00
Pugol Pugol Road 2,500.000.00
Payawan Bunog Road 500,000.00
  Poblacion West Acacia St. 750,000.00
Bayabas St. 750,000.00
Chico St. 1,250,000.00
Poblacion East Municipal Cemetery Road 750,000.00
Magulon Tanap – Monggongaak Road 750,000.00
Hollown Halimutok Road 750,000.00
Pieza Sawmill Road 750,000.00
Bimpal Pulaan Road 750,000.00
Ambasa Malittalit Road 750,000.00
Lucban Ines – Flores Site Road 750,000.00
Panopdopan Maleteng Road 750,000.00
Total Project Cost   14,250,000.00

The aforementioned projects initiated from the period of July-August of 2017, and were duly completed between the periods of August-December of the same year.

It can be noted that majority of the above-mentioned roads are located in the remote barangays of Lamut, and most of said roads also provide inter-connection to neighboring barangays, which justifies the prioritization of said projects. Spouses Teresita and Ramon Dangayo, residents of Sitio Monggongaak, shared their experiences before the completion of the concreting of the Tanap-Monggongaak Road, Mr. Dangayo narrated that their farm products, generally squash, can only be transported manually either by carrying in sacks or by means of a local carriage called “patuki or pasagad” from their residence to the Barangay Hall compound, which is about one (1) kilometer away, where said products are then hauled by tricycles going to the Lamut Market, since their residence is unreachable during the rainy season which literally turns the unpaved road into a muddy swamp. Mr. Dangayo, already 73 years old and had unfortunately suffered two mild strokes in the past, recalls he had already thought of giving up farming during those days considering the very tedious and tiresome task of transporting their products to the Barangay Hall Compound. The spouses proudly narrated that after the completion of said road project, they, along with their neighbors, have already expanded the variety of their farm produce which now includes ampalaya, eggplant, watermelon and other vegetables. Mr. Alfonso Belingon, 34 years old and a neighbor of the Dangayo’s, who is also into backyard vegetable farming, affirmed the couple’s testimonies and also expressed his gratitude for the project, and commented that although the road concreting was not able to cover until the end point of their Sitio, what has been concreted has already made a positive effect that even the youngsters are more motivated to go to school unlike before.

Although the GPB (BuB) Program is currently a policy, we look forward into the possibility for it to be turned to a formal law, of course, thru the initiative of the current or future administrations. Though in the end, the success of the GPB (BuB) Program shall ultimately be determined by the constituents or citizens, most of them belonging to the bottom sector, who in the first place, were the intended target beneficiaries of the program through its various projects, may all the stakeholders work towards the refinement of said scheme which in a way promises better accountability and delivery of social services for all constituents. #KSFLeones