A September 28, 2010 press release prepared by the Department of Budget Management
DBM Secretary Abad: Reforms to roll-out towards “WALANG CORRUPT, WALANG MAHIRAP”
The Department of Budget and Management’s very own budget will decrease by P180.7 million or 18.8% to P780.9 million under the proposed Reform Budget of 2011. But even so, the institution vows to faithfully perform its role as “guardian of public expenditure.”
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad even said the DBM will play a key role in fulfilling the promise of the Aquino government, which got an overwhelming mandate in the 2010 national elections, of people empowerment through honest and participative governance.
“Like other agencies, the DBM has had to postpone expenditures on many of its priority projects so funds can be freed to augment vital social and economic services. Nonetheless, we are committed to rolling-out important public expenditure management reforms in line with President Aquino’s platform of kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” he said.
The DBM budget decrease in 2011 is mostly due to less capital outlay for next year, to P31.62 million from P231.3 million. He said capital expenses of the department for next year will only be for budget improvement projects, particularly the purchase of information technology equipment. The budget for personnel services will also decrease to P351.3 million from P355.3 million this year.
Meanwhile, maintenance expenditures increased to P397.9 million from P375.00 million, with provisions for the internationally-acclaimed Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). Abad said the PhilGEPS will make possible, for the very first time, electronic bidding services in procurement by the 1st quarter of next year.
Abad added “we welcome this public debate on the national budget, and even the criticisms. This only means that the people, more than ever, recognize the national budget as important to their lives and that they want to take part in this process. I hope this public discourse is not just seasonal, and that it is maintained even after Congress approves the budget,” he said.
DBM, he said, is expanding public expenditure reforms to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the budget cycle. For one, DBM is now institutionalizing means for civil society organizations to participate in budget work. In the 2011 Reform Budget, releases from lump-sum funds will also be contingent on master plans and improvement plans to be crafted and implemented by agencies concerned.
DBM will also utilize new information technology to promote transparency and accountability. He said the 2011 Reform Budget contains a landmark special provision that requires the full publication of project details in DBM’s and implementing agencies’ websites. In a few weeks, he said, the DBM will launch a special webpage detailing past releases from the Priority Development Assistance Fund and other lump-sum funds.