DBM strengthens bid to achieve budget spending transparency

The Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) digitalization of its procedures and processes will be the cornerstone of its transparency campaign and contribute to the efforts of enhancing e-governance.

DBM Undersecretary Maria Francesca del Rosario, head of the Information and Communications Technology Group, said the digitalization program would ensure transparency and accountability in government and help the Marcos administration build a digital connection with its citizens.

“We’re pushing for the Budget and Treasury Management System, which is a system that enables efficiency and transparency of the government’s financial transactions. Ultimately, this data will be fed to a warehouse, where all of the government agencies can open the data, get it real time. And the public will be able to know how the budget is being utilized,” del Rosario assured.

“We’re also reviving Project DIME: Digital Imaging Monitoring Evaluation, where the public will see, using satellites, how much of the projects have been completed. They’ll be able to know the utilization and how long it will take to finish the project,” she added.

With the digitization efforts of the government underway, del Rosario said the public might soon be able to know in real time how the national budget is utilized and monitor the status of government projects.

Moreover, del Rosario also said digitalization in government may lead to more foreign investors coming to the Philippines.

“There are also studies that show that with digitalization in government, ease of doing business increases. And there are a lot of foreign investors that will be more enticed to come to the Philippines. That is our goal here,” she explained.

“We have also been informed by the World Bank and IMF that for every citizen that will benefit from digitalization, the GDP per capita increases by 0.3 percent. That’s their data and it’s one of our north stars in doing our projects in DBM. With that, hopefully, the public will support our cause,” said del Rosario.

In her keynote address during the recently concluded Pilipinas 2022 organized by Stratbase ADR, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the government hopes digitalization would also energize citizen participation in governance that will contribute to the pursuit of e-governance.

Pangandaman said the government is in the process of establishing a Civil Society Organization (CSO) desk that will serve as the focal unit for all concerns related to public participation in the budget process, among others.

“The Philippine Open Government Partnership [PH-OGP] Initiative will focus on harnessing technologies that will help build the capacity of CSOs to properly monitor and evaluate national commitments,” Pangandaman explained.

Stratbase President Professor Victor Andres Manhit also emphasized in his speech the importance of transparency in government to ordinary Filipinos.

“Only inclusive economic development will alleviate their suffering, but development will only be realized through good governance—transparency and accountability—that would bring much-needed investments and jobs,” he added. -30-

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