Tuesday Jun, 15 2021 04:39:16 AM

BARMM expenditures transparent, budget intact, spox says

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 16:00 PM Thu Jun 10, 2021
Edwin O. Fernandez

The Bangsamoro government fiscal transactions are transparent, above board, legal and no irregularities, an official of the young political entity said.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, speaking for the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), stressed that the regional government and all its offices and ministries have been implementing, from day one in office, the government’s full disclosure policy.

“Budget appropriation is fully disclosed as contrary to allegations that the budget of the regional government is not fully disclosed,” said Sinarimbo, also the BARMM interior minister, during a news conference Wednesday.

In fact, all the annual budget and how these government funds are spent can be viewed at BARMM government ministries websites, denying claims that the regional government was over spending and non-transparent in its fiscal performance.

Sinarimbo said the BARMM’s annual budget is appropriated out of the annual block grant from the national government, share in the national government taxes, fees and charges collected in the Bangsamoro territorial jurisdiction, and projected collections on regional taxes, fees and charges for the operation of the regional government, all within Chief Minister Adod Ebrahim’s advocacy for moral governance.

Basically, BARMM started sometime in mid-2019 using the unspent budget of the defunct ARMM, pointing out that there was no block grant in that year.

“We are open to audit anytime,” Sinarimbo told reporters. 

In 2020, BARMM has total allocation of P65.9 billion pesos as budgeted by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament.

After BTA Parliament’s approval of the budget, Sinarimbo noted, it was published in newspapers and government websites.

Sinarimbo also said that anyone who wishes to find out where the BARMM money is can go to the Bangsamoro Treasury Office and the offices of various ministries to find out.

The BARMM spokesperson also said that about P40.8 billion (62 percent) of the P65 billion budget for 2020 remain as balance in the accounts of the Bangsamoro Treasury Office (BTO), and ministries and offices.

“The regional government has been very circumspect in its expenditures,” Sinarimbo said, adding that Chief Minister Ebrahim’s marching order to all BARMM leaders is to spend money wisely, legally, correctly and for the benefit of every Bangsamoro.  

This year, BARMM has a budget of P75.6 billion and only four percent or about P3.38 billion pesos has been allotted in the first quarter of the year. (Edwin O. Fernandez)

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