CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Dec. 1 (PNA) — Samar Island will only get a PHP447-million budget from the proposed PHP20 billion worth of projects to be funded under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) in 2017.

Pamana Samar area manager Imelda Bonifacio said that the 2017 fund is very low compared to other covered areas in the country for failure of local officials to present the actual insurgency situation.

“That is why it is really important for us to identify where we should implement the projects to really address the affected areas where government money is used to address the problem of insurgency and poverty,” Bonifacio said.

Of the PHP447 million approved budget for the three provinces next year, only PHP100 million is meant for Samar and the remaining amount is intended for Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.

“Let us make assessment again for Samar and we make this a correct evaluation,” said Bonifacio, urging the local government units to provide the real picture of the insurgency situation in Samar province.

With a smaller budget for 2017, Pamana will concentrate on capability building for local governments in covered areas.

For 2018, Bonifacio said they have lined up more projects in Pamana areas, but local government officials must learn how to submit proposals.

“It’s not true that the government has no fund. What you only need is a good project proposal and planning and make sure that this project will be implemented with correct price, correct project and right beneficiaries,” Bonifacio stressed.

The official will again meet local officials to provide technical assistance for the preparation of project proposals.

Pamana is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. (PNA)