Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter S. Cayetano is pushing for the equitable distribution of government resources in all regions across the country, as he cited data that the lion’s share of the government’s budget for infrastructure is focused in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Why are we so Metro Manila-centric? Bakit ang mundo ng Pilipino ay napapaloob sa Metro Manila? From 2001 to 2010, some 70 percent of all projects nasa Metro Manila. Thirty percent or the rest, sa buong Pilipinas,” Cayetano said.
“Every Filipino family should feel like a VIP. It is high time the government gives the families in the provinces the support they need. ”
Cayetano cited that in 2013 alone, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved P184.2 billion worth of 10 major infrastructure projects, eight of which are located in the National Capital Region (NCR). The two other projects are the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project worth P24.4 billion and Mactan Cebu International Airport Expansion at P17.5 billion.
He said many Filipino families are robbed of opportunities because the biggest chunk of the national budget pie is allocated to NCR. Under the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA), 13.07 percent of the total P2.265-trillion national budget will be spent on the capital region.
“Sabi ide-decongest daw ang Metro Manila dahil masikip na pero dinadagdagan ng skyway at highways para lumuwag ang mga kalsada sa dami ng sasakyan. Pero sa mga probinsya at ibang rehiyon, sira-sira ang mga kalsada. Kaya tuloy ang mga investors at big businesses, pinipili talaga ang NCR compared to other regions,” he said.
“Bakit nga ba nasa Metro Manila lahat ng pondo? Kasi, ang presidente, nasaan? Nasa Metro Manila. Nasaan ang Kongreso at Senado? Nasa Metro Manila. Nasaan lahat ng departamento? Metro Manila. Nasaan ang mga embassy? Metro Manila,” Cayetano added.
Cayetano challenged the government to deliver on its promise of rapid inclusive growth by exploiting the potential of other regions, and implementing projects that will benefit each and every Filipino family through employment, health care services, and accessible infrastructure and public transportation.
He said the national government should partner with local government units (LGUs) and officials to improve the delivery of services across the country.
Cayetano likewise urged Filipinos, especially the youth, to use social media to demand from government leaders the services they need and deserve.#