Budget chief: Programmed funds for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region 'substantial'

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Budget Secretary Ben Diokno. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday said the programmed budget for the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region is "substantial."

"Well on the Bangsamoro law there's money there, which is the seed money for the Bangsamoro. That's the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) fund. We will start from there. And if it's necessary, we will file a supplemental budget," Diokno said in his regular briefing.

Finance Chief Sonny Dominguez in a CNN Philippines' exclusive interview flagged the need for the region to have a separate funding.

This comes after former House Majority Leader and now Committee on Appropriations Head Rolando Andaya Jr. claimed Diokno did not set aside funding for the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the 2019 appropriations.

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the 2019 General Appropriations bill. The bicameral conference committee--made up of members from both houses of Congress--will iron out contentious provisions in the budget before it is submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing.