City asks for Regional recovery plan as it finalizes 2022 budget

6 August 2021 – Mayor Benjamin Magalong has requested a copy of the recovery plan for the Cordillera region from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional director Susan Sumbeling as the city government finalizes  its finances and allocations for 2022.

The Mayor made the request during the regular executive-legislative meeting, August 2, at City Hall where Sumbeling shared the Regional Development Council’s 2020 State of the Region Address and  State of Regional Development via zoom upon the city’s invitation.

Both the Mayor and city administrator Bonifacio Dela Pena agreed that it couldn’t be “business as usual” in terms of budget and other matters next year due to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) pandemic and the anticipated entry of the more infectious Delta variant.

Sumbeling said the recovery plan also includes the list of next year’s programs, projects and activities (PPAs) that has already been shared with the various regional line agencies for inclusion in their respective budgets. 

She advised the city to formulate its devolution transition plan (DTP) for 2022 in line with the Mandanas ruling that increases the share of national government tax revenue transferred to local governments.

Dela Pena said the city is forming a committee that will formulate its DTP that is aligned with the Mandanas ruling scheduled to be implemented next year and will serve as a guide as the city finalizes its budgeting process for 2022.

The 2020 SORA that Sumbeling read, stated in part:  “Before the pandemic, the Philippines was on track towards becoming an upper-middle-income country.  The national economy was growing by an average of six percent between 2016 to 2019.  The Cordillera Region had its fair share in lifting the country’s status  with our regional economy also growing by an average of five percent in the same period.”

“But like the rest of the world, we suddenly found ourselves battling an invisible and unfamiliar enemy for which we were not prepared.  As resources were realigned towards pandemic response, efforts towards sustainable economic growth had to be temporarily set aside.”

The address ended on a hopeful note:  “Even as we continue to live through uncertain times, and with our unwavering determination, dedication and cooperation towards working for a better future, we shall succeed in navigating the better normal to help the country pursue its long-term vision of a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay that embodies our vision of a prosperous and autonomous Cordillera where benefits are equitably shared by all.”-Gaby B. Keith