The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga jointly conducted a Regional Budget Forum for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 on February 2, 2022, via teleconference.

The Forum oriented and apprised the agency regional offices (AROs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) on the National Budget Memorandum (NBM) 142 (National Budget Call for FY 2023) dated January 12, 2022, and the Regional Development Council (RDC) Regional Budget Review Guidelines on the Preparation of their FY 2023 Budget Proposals. It also served as a venue to clarify issues and concerns confronting the AROs and SUCs in their budget proposal preparation.

In her opening remarks, DBM Regional Director Ma. Fe Jagna briefly explained the overall context of the forum. Following it, Ms. Edna Jamolin (DBM) discussed the salient features of the NBM 142, giving emphasis on the specific guidelines on the two-tiered budgeting system.  Meanwhile, Mr. Paul Abarca (DBM), highlighted the continued reforms in the FY 2023 Budget, focusing on considerations under the “new normal.”

Ms. Graziella Harting (NEDA Caraga) tackled the Caraga RDC Regional Budget Review Guidelines, underlining the need for AROs and SUCs to include in its budget proposals programs and projects that support the region’s priority sectors, like fishery, agro-forestry, mining, and ecotourism; actions that promote sustainable and inclusive development of remote areas and conflict-affected areas; as well as actions that support Balik Probinsiya Bagong Pag-asa Program,  Regional Action Plan on COVID-19, and Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for Typhoon Odette. Ms. Harting also laid out the activities for the review and deliberation of the FY 2023 AROs and SUCs’ budget proposals at the RDC Sectoral Committees and Full Council levels.

NEDA Caraga Regional Director Priscilla Sonido, in her closing message, reminded the AROs and SUCs to do away with “business as usual” budget proposals and to ensure agency mandates contribute to achieving economic recovery, sustainable and inclusive development, and reduce the vulnerability of the Region to man-made and natural hazards.

More than 200 participants joined the Forum, comprising heads and planning and budget officers of the AROs and SUCs.