Solon to fight for Mindanao’s 2011 budget

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Stressing that the 10 percent share of Mindanao in the proposed 2011 budget is not enough, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he will fight tooth and nail in the ongoing budget deliberation so that Mindanao will get its rightful share in the national budget.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated only 10% of the proposed P1.6 trillion national budget for Mindanao.

Rodriguez said it is “not enough” considering that Mindanao contributes so much to the national treasury and gross domestic product.

Of the country’s 94 million population, 21% are in Mindanao. The island also contributes 24% to the country’s GDP.

He said the Aquino administration’s proposed share for Mindanao only confirms that the southern Philippines is far from Manila’s so-called national development program.

“The government’s support for Mindanao is very lacking. Mindanao should be the priority because we have been neglected for so long,” he said.

Records show that Mindanao contributes an estimated 64 percent of the national income but receives only 18 percent of national development share.

Mindanao also provides about 50 percent of the Philippines’ food requirement but has the lowest road density in the country.

In 2008, of Mindanao’s total land area of 10,199,886 hectares, only 31.50 percent are irrigated lands compared to the 49.85 percent in Luzon.

Last year, Mindanao only received a total of P31.81 billion overall budget compared to the P51.29 billion for Luzon.

Despite Mindanao’s economic resiliency, six out of the 10 poorest provinces of the Philippines are in Mindanao.

Worst, 19.2 percent of Mindanao’s population are also considered food-poor. Bong  D. Fabe

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