Press Release
September 14, 2015

Bam Lauds DBM for Rise in Budget Transparency Ranking

Senator Bam Aquino lauded the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for a job well done after the Philippines ranked No. 1 in Southeast Asia in budget transparency in the recent 2015 Open Budget Survey (OBS).

"This recognition shows that our government's effort to reform the country's budget process and systems are on the right track and headed in the right direction," said Sen. Bam, a vice chairman of the Committee on Finance.

"We laud the DBM for its untiring effort in making our budget transparent and ensuring that every centavo will be used for the people's welfare," added Sen. Bam.

The survey, spearheaded by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), placed the Philippines 2nd in Asia and 21st in the world for transparent and open budget management.

According to the 2015 OBI, the Philippines' score went up to 64, surpassing the government's own target of 60 and bringing the Philippines within the group of countries with significant or substantial transparency, which includes South Korea.

The average score among countries surveyed for the 2015 OBI is at 48, making budget transparency levels in the Philippines above-average on a global scale.

Sen. Bam said the survey is both timely and useful as Congress can apply its recommendations, especially in terms of oversight function, when tackling the budget proposal submitted by the Aquino government for 2016.

"Moreover, the survey stresses the need for lawmakers to strengthen their oversight functions, both in planning and implementation stages of the budget cycle," Sen. Bam said.

According to the survey, the legislative department provides limited oversight during the planning stage and weak oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.

The survey recommended the strengthening of the legislative oversight function on the budget by ensuring that lawmakers hold a pre-budget debate, with the outcome being reflected in the enacted budget.

In addition, the survey said the executive and legislative departments must establish regular consultations on budget matters.

12 The executive must also consult lawmakers in the transferring of funds stated in the national budget and spending of contingency funds that were not identified in the enacted budget.

"By further exercising our oversight function, we, both the executive and legislative branches of governments, will ensure that the allotted funds will go to its intended purpose," said Sen. Bam, who is in charge of scrutinizing budget of the National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Trade and Industry and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

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