Marina’s 2023 budget nears P1B

The Department of Budget and Management on Thursday gave light on the funding provided by the department to the Maritime Industry Authority under next year’s 2023 National Expenditure Program.

In a document sent to the Daily Tribune, Budget Undersecretary for Media Affairs and Community Relations Goddes Hope Libiran said funding under the 2023 NEP for Marina was P916,243 million and not P386.853 million, which a source in Marina earlier told the Tribune.

The DBM has released total available appropriations of P981,432 to Marina for 2022.

But the Marina source also clarified Thursday that the P386.853 million they are questioning for its meagerness was meant for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses or MOOE only.

“Still, the MOOE budget was too small,” the source said, noting that approximately P73 million or 27.95 percent of the allotted MOOE funds are used to pay wages of Job Order and Contract of Service Personnel for this year.

Of Marina’s total 1,125 workforces, 477 are non-plantilla personnel. The source said employees of the agency are making an urgent request that DBM approves and implement Marina’s Organizational Structure and Staffing Plan, which has been submitted since 2020.

The approval of the OSSP will increase Marina staff and the creation of additional Marina regional offices in Regions 2, 4B, and the National Capital Region.

Not under DBM anymore

Meanwhile, Libiran also clarified the Department of Transportation’s Maritime cluster head, Undersecretary Elmer Sarmiento’s statement, referring to the 36 port projects that were “disapproved” by the DBM.

In a press conference on Monday, Sarmiento revealed that the said port projects did not get funding of P800 million.

“As per Section 17 B item 8 of the Local Government Code of the Philippines, and according to the Supreme Court Ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia Case, the construction of local ports has already been devolved to the local government units,” the DBM official statement read, sent by Libiran to the Daily Tribune.

The DBM maintains that the following essential services and facilities related to transportation and ports are devolved to the LGUs under Section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160), which include infrastructure facilities including traffic signals and road signs and similar facilities, adequate transportation facilities, fish ports, and infrastructure facilities intended primarily to service the needs of the residents of the municipality including, but not limited to fish ports, among others.

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