Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the 2024 national budget shall cover only implementation-ready programs of government agencies.
The Budget Secretary gave the reminder before the heads of budget, accounting and planning units of national government agencies (NGAs) and government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) during the FY 2024 Budget Forum held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
“Given the competing demands of government programs against a backdrop of limited resources, we will ensure that only implementation-ready agency proposals are included in the FY 2024 national budget. As such, the agencies’ budget proposals should contain concrete program plans and designs so we can manage our budget efficiently and effectively,” said Pangandaman.
“We will also look into the agencies’ previous year budget utilization and performance as part of its evaluation process,” the Budget Chief reiterated.
The DBM Secretary explained that such inclusion of implementation-ready programs is the key feature of Cash Budgeting System (CBS), a public financial management reform that aims to address delays caused by piling of contracts, underspending, and challenges on the implementation capacity of agencies.
“With all these guiding frameworks, we will consolidate and optimize the resources of the national government to gain its maximum benefit and multiplier effects for the economy,” Secretary Pangandaman said.
Secretary Pangandaman underscored that next year’s budget will embody the priorities and policy directions of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration to achieve economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive and resilient society.
“For Fiscal Year 2024, we have a blueprint by which we can achieve our socioeconomic development goals—the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework or MTFF. With clear macroeconomic objectives that will steer the economy back to its high-growth trajectory and promote medium-term fiscal sustainability, we will continue to implement risk-managed interventions in the areas of food security, transport and logistics, energy, health, education, social protection, bureaucratic efficiency, and fiscal management, among others,” Secretary Pangandaman said.
“As we have emphasized in our Budget Call, the FY 2024 budget proposal should incorporate the priorities and policy directions of the Marcos Jr. Administration as embodied in the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. These are aimed at achieving economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society,” Pangandaman added.
Included in the priorities are infrastructure development, strengthening of local government units, digital transformation in the government, and sustainable management and use of natural resources by 2030.
“We will continue to prioritize infrastructure development as we Build, Better, More—while continuing to support areas that are the poorest, that are lagging, and those that are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters,” Sec Pangandaman said.
“Our Local Government Units (LGUs) should not be left behind so we will continue to provide funds for their capacity building so they can better assume their devolved functions and services,” the Budget Secretary said.
“We will likewise continue our pursuit of digital transformation, including the adoption of the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems to enhance the Budget and Treasury Management System or BTMS… We will also continue to support the Administration’s goal of ensuring sustainable management and use of natural resources by 2030,” she added.
Secretary Pangandaman urged forum attendees to strive to regain public trust and confidence in government through the adoption of budgetary reforms.
“Let us continue to regain public trust and confidence by adopting our existing reforms for greater budget transparency, openness, accountability, and reliability. These include, among others, the 2-Tier Budgeting Approach; the disaggregation of lump-sum amounts within the agency-specific budgets; a well-functioning, results-based and credible monitoring and evaluation system; and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to strengthen participation of civil society organizations and ensure sustainability of budget and governance reforms,” Sec. Pangandaman said.
The conduct of the budget fora is part of the start of the budget preparation throughout the bureaucracy, following the issuance of Memorandum No. 145 or the National Budget Call, which signals the preparatory stage for the drafting of the National Expenditure Program for FY 2024.