DSWD Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) Program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) initiative represents a groundbreaking approach to community development in the Philippines.

Initiated in 2012, the project empowers local communities to directly participate in the budgeting process, allowing them to identify, prioritize, and implement development projects based on their unique needs and priorities.


Legal Basis

The initiative operates under the legal framework that encourages participatory governance, aligning with the Philippine government’s commitment to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. 

This approach is rooted in national policies that support decentralized decision-making, ensuring that development initiatives reflect the actual requirements of communities.


The initiative has demonstrated significant impact across various sectors:

  • Improved Basic Services: By focusing on community-identified projects, BUB has enhanced access to essential services like water, sanitation, and education.
  • Poverty Reduction: This project has contributed to economic development by providing communities with the means to improve their livelihoods.
  • Promotion of Good Governance: The initiative fosters transparency and accountability in government spending, giving communities a voice in the decision-making process.

Program Workflow

Developing the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP)

The Municipal/City Development Council plays a pivotal role in the project by crafting the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP). The LPRAP is a comprehensive plan that outlines the community’s development goals and serves as a precursor to the Annual Investment Plan (AIP). 

This AIP, based on the LPRAP, is then presented to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office to secure funding for local priority projects aimed at poverty reduction and enhancing the quality of life.

Project Funding and Implementation

Upon approval, the AIP channels funds into critical community projects, such as building roads, schools, and health centers. The unique aspect of the initiative is the community’s involvement at every stage, ensuring transparency and accountability. The community identifies issues, collaborates on solutions, and oversees the project execution to ensure successful outcomes.

The Role and Composition of LPRAP in BUB 

The Importance of LPRAP

The LPRAP is a strategic document that outlines how city governments intend to utilize funds. It is a blueprint for targeted poverty reduction, reflecting the specific needs and circumstances of each locality. The document is not just a budgeting tool but a reflection of a city’s commitment to addressing poverty at its core.

Breaking Down the LPRAP Components

Assessment of Poverty

Initiating the LPRAP requires a thorough assessment of poverty within the city. This involves collecting a range of data, both statistical and anecdotal, to paint a clear picture of the local poverty situation. The goal here is to understand the multifaceted nature of poverty, which will inform the development of targeted interventions.

List of Priority Programs

Following the assessment, the city government must formulate a list of priority programs that address the identified causes of poverty. This strategic list should draw on successful examples from other municipalities and incorporate feedback from community members to ensure that the initiatives are well-suited to the local context.

Eligibility / Qualifications

Participation in the project is open to all communities within the Philippines. The key qualifications include:

  • Active involvement of local community members.
  • Engagement of local government units (LGUs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the planning process.
  • Willingness to undergo training on the process and project management.


To participate in the initiative, communities must:

  • Conduct a participatory needs assessment to identify development priorities.
  • Formulate a local poverty reduction action plan that includes these priorities.
  • Engage in the BUB training and planning workshops provided by the DSWD.

How to Apply for Bottom Up Budgeting

Orientation (Step 01)

Begin your journey with the project by participating in an orientation session. This is where community members, alongside civil society organizations, receive a comprehensive briefing on the objectives, processes, and expected outcomes of the program. It’s crucial to understand the timelines and expectations set forth to ensure all projects align with the community’s development goals.

CSO Assembly (Step 02)

Following the orientation, civil society organizations (CSOs) and community members come together to identify and discuss solutions to local poverty issues. This assembly is critical for the formation of the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT), which will be responsible for spearheading the action plans.

LPRAP Workshop (Step 03)

The LPRAT then convenes to develop the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP), a document that outlines the community’s priority projects based on the pressing needs identified during the CSO Assembly. This plan becomes the cornerstone of the community’s development initiatives.

RPRAT Review and Approval (Step 04)

Once the LPRAP is finalized, it is submitted to the Regional Poverty Reduction Action Team (RPRAT) for review. The RPRAT’s approval is essential, as it ensures that the proposed projects are in line with regional development strategies and are feasible within the broader scope of the initiative.

Endorsement and NPRAT Approval (Step 05)

After the RPRAT gives its nod, the LPRAPs are endorsed by the National Anti-Poverty Commission, which then forwards them to the National Poverty Reduction Action Team (NPRAT) for the final stamp of approval. This step is critical as it confirms the project’s alignment with national poverty reduction goals.

Budget Integration and GAA Approval (Step 06)

Post-approval, the plans are submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for integration into the National Expenditure Plan. This is a pivotal phase where the proposed community projects receive the green light for funding under the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Project Implementation (Step 07)

With the approvals and funding in place, the actual implementation of the projects begins. This is when the respective National Government Agencies and Local Government Units collaborate to bring the community’s vision to life, adhering to the set timelines and ensuring that the procurement and execution of projects proceed smoothly until they are ready to be handed over to the community.


Video: Locals answer: “What is Bottom-up Budgeting?”

Through the government’s Bottom-up Budgeting reform program, ordinary citizens, including farmers, vendors, laborers, small business owners, students, and local government officials, are actively involved in shaping and improving their communities. By listening to the voices and perspectives of these individuals, the initiative enables them to create better lives for themselves and contribute to the development of their localities.


Video: The scope of Bottom-up Budgeting

The Bottom-Up Budgeting, also known as Grassroots Participatory Budgeting, has been instrumental in addressing the immediate needs of barangays through various local projects. Highlighted successes include the CANDY MAKERS project that bolstered local confectionery production, the ELECTRICITY project which brought power to areas in need, the BANGUS DEBONING project that enhanced fish processing techniques, and the SEWING PROJECT that empowered communities with new vocational skills.



The DSWD Bottom-Up Budgeting is a pioneering initiative that places power in the hands of the people, allowing Filipino communities to directly influence how government funds are allocated and used. Through participatory budgeting, the initiative has facilitated significant improvements in local infrastructure, basic services, and overall quality of life. By continuing to engage with and expand this initiative, the Philippines can further advance its goals of reducing poverty, improving governance, and fostering inclusive growth.

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