By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Overhauling the national budget process with its lion’s
share going towards the development of rural villages can bring the
kind of progress we all want for our nation, which Partido Reporma
chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is prepared to do
over the next six years.
Partido Reporma spokesperson Ashley Acedillo underscored this message
during an online interview with Politiko TV, Monday (October 25,
2021), as he bared some of the legislative priorities of Lacson should
he wins the 2022 presidential race.
Acedillo said Lacson will definitely still be pushing for his Budget
Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) bill to spur inclusive
economic growth in the poorest provinces by way of strategically
allocating public funds for community-driven development projects.
In broad strokes, Acedillo explained this legislative proposal follows
the same 15-85 budget principle that Lacson applied to institute much
needed reforms at the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he was its
The majority of the PNP budget or 85 percent went to the lower units of
the police force across the regions, while only 15 percent remained at
the national level. This enabled Lacson to weed out the culture of
corruption within the PNP at the time and restore public trust to the
“This [BRAVE bill] is necessary because it will give space for our
local chief executives to maximize their abilities. Secondly, it
should also spur localized or regionalized growth because developments
will no longer be concentrated in selected parts of the Philippines,”
Acedillo further mentioned that the BRAVE bill actually serves as
Lacson’s counterpoint to the federalism agenda of incumbent President
Rodrigo Duterte, which never prospered under his watch despite
exerting so much influence over the members of Congress.
“This [BRAVE bill] is our answer to what they call federalism. Because
they said federalism is the key towards addressing the
underdevelopment of our countryside. Ping Lacson disagrees because he
believes it is actually village empowerment,” Acedillo said.
Lacson filed BRAVE under Senate Bill No. 23 in July 2019. It’s a
reform-oriented budget measure that guarantees an annual Local
Development Fund to help local government units (LGU) implement their
three-year comprehensive development plans.
It seeks to address existing gaps between the LGUs and the national
government in enforcing publicly funded projects and social
programs that effectively respond to the needs of the citizens. The
bill remains pending at the Senate committee level as of July 23,