There is a slight increase in the proposed budget for the Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) in 2021, with an additional P14.27-million tipping the ministry’s budget to a little over P100-million,
Two major programs headline the MOPS budget, namely the Peace Program Initiative (PPI) and Rido Settlement.
The PPI seems to consist of an array of programs, among them the Safe BARMM Program, and has a budget allocation of about P15.29M. However, it is still unclear how this would be split among the subprograms listed as the Safe BARMM Program, Advocacy Campaigns on Public Order and Safety, Community-Driven Safety and Security, Peacebuilding Towards Normalization, Sustaining Journey to Peace, Dialogue Beyond Diversity; and, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation.
In addition, the subprograms need to have more definitive targets and indicators, as some of them currently seem arbitrary at best. For example, the ministry target for the Safe BARMM Program is set to coordinate only 40% of the data it will gather on public order and safety issues and challenges, while only 37 target communities are indicated under the Community-Driven Safety and Security subprogram. The basis for both figures is unclear.
Meanwhile, the Rido Settlement program is also a new addition to the MOPS budget. It has a budget allocation amounting to P14.52-million, the entirety of which is classified under maintenance and other operating expenses.
Note that in the 2020 BAA, the Safe BARMM Program was the only program listed under MOPS.
The budget also barely reflects the current situation given the ongoing pandemic. There is no mention of how lockdowns and social distancing measures have affected public order and safety in the region, and how the ministry plans to respond in the future. It is also unclear if the ministry has come up with new, adaptive strategies and measures to promote public safety in the “new normal.”
Another point of inquiry regarding the MPOS budget is its plans regarding transitional justice and reconciliation measures in the region. With a subprogram geared towards Peace Building Towards Normalization, normalization interventions must be targeted and intentional, especially given the limitations brought about by the pandemic.
Many of the programs outlined in the budget proposal need definition and structure not only in terms of implementation but also in terms of rationale. Government spending is hinged on transparency and accountability, which starts with a budget that has room for data-driven monitoring and assessment.
This series of infographics is the fifth installment of the #BARMMBudgetWatch initiative of the Office of the Minority Floor Leader.