January 31, 2023

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has requested for a copy of the recovery plan for the Cordillera from National Economic and Development Authority-Cordillera as the city government finalizes its finances and allocations for 2022.
The mayor made the request during the regular executive-legislative meeting on Aug. 2 where NEDA Regional Director Susan Sumbeling shared the Regional Development Council’s 2020 State of the Region Address and State of Regional Development via Zoom upon the city’s invitation.
Magalong and City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pena agreed it could not be “business as usual” in terms of budget and other matters next year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the anticipated entry of the more infectious Delta variant.
Sumbeling said the recovery plan includes the list of next year’s programs, projects and activities that have already been shared to the various regional line agencies for inclusion in their respective budgets.  
She advised the city to formulate its devolution transition plan (DTP) for 2022 in line with the Mandanas ruling that increases the share of national government tax revenue transferred to local governments.
Dela Pena said the city is forming a committee that will formulate its DTP that is aligned with the Mandanas ruling and will serve as a guide as the city finalizes its budgeting process for 2022.
The 2020 SORA, which Sumbeling read, stated: “Before the pandemic, the Philippines was on track towards becoming an upper middle-income country.  The national economy was growing by an average of six percent from 2016 to 2019.  The Cordillera had its fair share in lifting the country’s status with our regional economy also growing by an average of five percent in the same period.”
“But like the rest of the world, we suddenly found ourselves battling an invisible and unfamiliar enemy for which we were not prepared. As resources were realigned towards pandemic response, efforts towards sustaining economic growth had to be temporarily set aside.”
“Even as we continue to live through uncertain times, and with our unwavering determination, dedication, and cooperation towards working for a better future, we shall succeed in navigating the better normal to help the country pursue its long-term vision of a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay that embodies our vision of a prosperous and autonomous Cordillera where benefits are equitably shared by all.” – Gaby B. Keith