CMGP to stir up reforms under Duterte administration

The government has allocated P8.2B for the Local Government Support Fund to aid eligible provinces in their road and bridge repair, rehabilitation improvement projects.

One of the economic agenda of the Duterte administration highlights the creation of reforms in governance, which focuses on the implementation of road projects under the Local Government Support Fund – Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (LGSF – CMGP) Program.

For the FY 2018 General Appropriations Act, P8.2 billion is allocated to the LGSF – CMGP. As of May 25, 2018, the Department of Budget and Management has already released 77.48 percent or P6.37 billion of the fund to the beneficiary provinces through the Bureau of the Treasury which shall download the funds to the provinces.

The region that received the highest budget allocation for road and bridge repair, rehabilitation, and improvement is Region IV-B MIMAROPA, with a total of P743.8 million while the lowest allocation went to Region IX with P269.4 million. The province of Palawan received the biggest budget, followed by Mindoro Oriental, Bukidnon, South Cotabato, and Compostela Valley.

The national and local road networks are the largest and most important infrastructure assets of the Philippine Government. When the local roads are inadequate, National Government must step in to help upgrade, repair and rehabilitate these vital links that serve as the primary drivers of tourism and local economic growth required to support economic and social development.

The Duterte administration recognizing the importance of roads as mobility corridors for communities to transport goods, services, and people and in providing a pathway for emergency services and disaster relief operations. Through the CMGP, the government wants to ensure sustainability and cross-cutting measures in the implementation of road projects.

The CMGP – the upgraded version of the former Kalsada Program is a partnership program between the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that aims to partly address the poor state of provincial roads across the country and to improve the capacity of provinces in local road management and incorporating reforms in financial management. The CMGP also aims to enhance the Provincial Governments’ competency in Local Road Management (LRM) systems and processes, incorporating governance reforms in Public Financial Management. Unlike the Kalsada Program, CMGP does not require counterpart funds from the LGUs, thus enticing more local government units to avail of the program.

However, a set of preconditions are required for an LGU to become eligible to be enrolled in the program. This mainly includes their compliance with the DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance, particularly on its Financial Housekeeping.

DBM under the Duterte administration increased the CMGP allocation to fund road projects under the LGSF component in the GAA. Last year, the government allocated P18.03 billion for provincial road repair and rehabilitation under the CMGP. This was a huge jump from initial budget of P6.5 billion in 2016 for Kalsada Program.