BY CRIS DIAZ
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Cagayan de Oro Congresman Rufus B. Rodriguez asked Congress to restore the P 22 billion cut in appropriation for Mindanao in the 2023 national budget.
Rodriguez questioned the reduction in funds for Mindanao from P650 billion this year to P628 billion next year, or from 13 percent to only 11.9 percent of the proposed P 5.268 billion 2023 national budget.
“Mindanao should get its fair share of national resources. Instead of reducing its funding in the national budget, the government should increase it,” he said.
Rodriguez, who attended the Development Budget Coordination Committee meeting on Friday, called on House members from Mindanao to unite in working for the restoration of the P22 billion budget for the Mindanao constituents.
Rodriguez pointed out that Mindanao, as the country’s second largest island had a population of 26.3 million, or 24 percent of the country’s population of 109.6 million.
He said that Mindanao contributes 17 percent of the nation’s total annual output of products and services, which actually entitled the island to, at least, P 895 billion annual budget.
“The least that we (Congress) can do is to maintain the P650 billion budget for Mindanao in 2023 by restoring the P 22 billion budget slashed. Otherwise, Mindanao is left behind,” Rodriguez said.
The Mindanao Solon also called on President Marcos to fund the proposed Mindanao railway to enhance mobility, foster economic development and reduce transportation cost.-0-