COTABATO CITY – Fiscal transactions of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government are transparent, above-board, legal, and no irregularities, an official said.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, in a news conference Wednesday, said the regional government and all its offices and ministries have been implementing the government’s full disclosure policy from day one in office.
“It (budget appropriations) is fully disclosed as contrary to allegations that the budget of the regional government is not fully disclosed,” said Sinarimbo, also the BARMM interior minister.
In fact, he said, all the annual budgets and how these government funds are spent could be viewed at the BARMM government ministries’ websites, denying claims that the regional government was overspending and non-transparent in its fiscal performance.
He added that BARMM’s annual budget is appropriated out of the annual block grant from the national government, share in the national government taxes, fees collected in the Bangsamoro territorial jurisdiction, and projected collections on regional taxes, charges for the operation of the regional government, all within BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim’s advocacy for moral governance.
Sometime in mid-2019, BARMM started using the unspent budget of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, pointing out that there was no block grant in that year.
“We are open to audit anytime,” Sinarimbo told reporters.
In 2020, BARMM has a total allocation of PHP65.9 billion as budgeted by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) parliament.
After the BTA parliament approved the budget, Sinarimbo said it was published in newspapers and government websites.
He added that anyone who wishes to find out where the BARMM money is, can check with the Bangsamoro Treasury Office and the offices of various ministries.
About PHP40.8 billion (62 percent) of the PHP65-billion budget for 2020 remains as a balance in the Bangsamoro Treasury Office (BTO) accounts and ministries and offices.
“The regional government has been very circumspect in its expenditures,” Sinarimbo said, adding that Ebrahim’s marching order to all BARMM leaders is to spend money wisely, legally, correctly, and for the benefit of every Bangsamoro.
This year, BARMM has a budget of PHP75.6 billion, only 4 percent or about PHP3.38 billion has been allotted in the first quarter of the year. (PNA)