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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) conducted a forum on the execution of the FY 2018 budget and the preparation of FY 2019 budget on January 16-17, 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

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Attended by budgeting, planning, and accounting unit heads from different National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), and Government Financial Units (GFIs), the forum aimed to provide a platform for government agencies to discuss the guidelines for formulation and submission of agency budget proposals, as stipulated in the Budget Call for FY 2019.

 

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In his opening remarks on the first day of the forum, DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno thanked the participants for their hard work which allowed the timely submission and approval of the budget for 2018.

 

He also emphasized in his message the significance of the forum as the 2019 budget will be an annual cash-based budget. "Shifting from obligation-based budget to annual cash-based budget is no small change. We are effectively changing the landscape for how government budgeting is done," said Sec. Diokno.

 

With annual cash-based budget, agencies are allowed to incur only contractual obligations and disburse payments for goods delivered and services rendered and inspected within one fiscal year, with an extended payment period of three months.

 

Meanwhile, on the second day of the forum, Sec. Diokno urged the participants from NGAs, GOCCs, and GFIs to craft "proposals [that] reflect administration policies such as the President's 0+10-Point Socio-Economic Agenda, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), and the priority programs and projects contained in the 2017-2022 Public Investment Program (PIP), and should incorporate the 2019-2021 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP)."

 

Agencies are scheduled to submit their Agency Budget Proposals to the DBM in April, while the President's Budget will be submitted to Congress on the day of the State of the Nation Address on July 23.

 

For more information, visit www.dbm.gov.ph and follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

 

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P883 million earmarked for adjustment in employer share in Philhealth contributions and extension of the Primary Care Benefits to government employees.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has issued Circular Letter No. 2013-8 on January 16, 2018 to prescribe the guidelines on the adjustment in the employer (government) share in the Health Insurance Premium (HIP) contributions of government employees to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The Circular Letter also provides information on the PhilHealth’s Primary Care Benefits previously being provided to the sponsored beneficiaries but are now being extended to government employees who are PhilHealth members under the Formal Employed Sector starting 2018.

Effective January 2018, the employer (government) share in the HIP contributions to PhilHealth of all National Government Agencies (NGAs), including State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Constitutional Offices, Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), will be based on Item IV of PhilHealth Circular No. 2017-0024[1] dated September 11, 2017.

Specifically, the monthly premium contributions will be at the rate of 2.75% of the employee’s monthly basic salary, which will have a salary floor of P10,000 and a ceiling of P40,000, to be shared equally by the employer (government) and the employee.

As provided under DBM Circular Letter No. 2018-3, the computation of the premium contributions shall be based on the following table:

Monthly Basic Salary

2.75% of Monthly Basic Salary

Employee Share

Employer Share

P10,000 and below

P275.00

P137.50

P137.50

P10,000.01 to P39,999.99

P275.02 to P1,099.99

P137.51 to P549.99

P137.51 to P549.99

P40,000.00 and above

P1,100.00

P550.00

P550.00

The funding required to adjust the employer (government) share in the HIP contributions of employees in the National Government will be  charged against the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) under the FY 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA).


As regards the Primary Care Benefits provided by PhilHealth, the benefit package involves assignment, enlistment and profiling of members and their dependents. Profiling includes the provision of basic laboratory services for Urinary Tract Infection, Acute Gastroenterities, lower and upper respiratory tract infection, and asthma. Medicines for these conditions are also included in said benefit package.

These primary care benefits may be availed in accredited government health care institutions such as Rural Health Units and Health Centers and some selected government hospitals. Additional hospitals will be accredited by Philhealth as providers to ensure access.

Additional guidelines will be issued by Philhealth for the expansion of the Primary Care Benefits to government employees.

          For more information, visit www.dbm.gov.ph and www.philhealth.gov.ph. Follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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[1] Adjustment in the Premium Contribution of the Employed Sector to Sustain the National Health
   Insurance Program

 

On the back of sound macroeconomic fundamentals, prudent economic policies, and sustained economic growth, Fitch Ratings has upgraded the Philippines’ long-term credit rating from “BBB-” to “BBB” with a stable outlook last December 11, 2017.

Credit ratings assess the default risk of a prospective debtor, providing guidance to investors, corporations, and governments worldwide. The improved credit rating of the Philippines will therefore enhance the government’s access to financing and potentially present more favorable terms and conditions for future loans.

Among the key ratings drivers cited by Fitch include the Philippine economy’s consistent growth performance evidenced by strong domestic demand and inflows of foreign direct investment, as well as the country’s robust fiscal position.

The ratings agency lauded the fiscal policies of the government that are geared to boost infrastructure spending and liability management. The tax reform initiative, in particular, will generate revenues for the government to finance its expenditure priorities while also supporting the projected decline of the government debt-to-GDP ratio to around 34%, below the “BBB” median of 41% of GDP.

On the monetary front, Fitch also mentioned that it expects inflation to remain within the 2% – 4% target band of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The current account deficit is also expected to be manageable, driven by imports of capital goods, and being offset by remittance inflows and business process outsourcing (BPO) receipts. Furthermore, the credit agency said that foreign exchange reserve levels remain to be adequate, covering close to 8 months of current external payments.

“The Duterte Administration welcomes the good news of the credit upgrade by Fitch Ratings Inc.,” said Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “The upgrade supports the growing consensus that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries not only in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region but also in the entire world,” the Budget chief added.

“As much as we are thankful, we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to persevere for the welfare of our constituents,” he continued. “Ultimately, this credit upgrade is only a means to an end for our overarching objectives – growth with equity evidenced by lower poverty levels, solid job creation, and higher human development.”

For more information on the Department of Budget and Management, visit: www.dbm.gov.ph and follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter.

National government disbursements posted a 28.2% increase in the month of October, the highest growth recorded so far in the year, as spending reached P226.9 billion. This brings cumulative disbursements from January to October at P2.241 trillion, a 10% increase year-on-year.
In terms of expense class, Current Operating Expenditures rose by 35.2%, reaching P164.1 billion in October 2017. It was primarily driven by the growth in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE), which grew by 111.0% to reach P40.4 billion. This was on account of the release of cash assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) , social pension and other assistance programs for the victims of natural disasters and calamities. At the same time, expenditures in connection with the relief works and operations of the DSWD for Marawi contributed to the spike in MOOE spending. Personnel Services meanwhile amounted to P60 billion, increasing by 8.8%, due to the higher compensation of civilian personnel and increased allowances of military and uniformed personnel pursuant to EO 201, s. 2016.

On the other hand, Capital Outlays amounted to P60.6 billion in October for a 10.4% year-on-year increase. Infrastructure and Other Capital Outlays comprised the bulk of capital spending reaching P51.5 billion, expanding by 17.8%. The boost in infrastructure spending was primarily due to the public works projects of the DPWH such as road construction and flood control rehabilitation or improvements. The acquisition of transport and other equipment of the DILG-PNP under its Capability Enhancement Program, as well as the payment for various communication, navigational and air traffic management system projects, and civil works for the LRT Lines 1 and 2 extension projects of the DOTr also contributed to the higher infrastructure and other capital spending.

Looking ahead, some P331.2 billion or 9.9 percent of the P3.35 trillion obligation program is still available for release to line agencies sourced from both the agency-specific budgets and Special Purpose Funds. Line agencies have been expediting the requests for the release of their allotments, as well as obligating these funds since the 2017 appropriations are only valid until December 31 this year.

“The significant growth in government disbursements for the month of October is encouraging news in view of our expansionary fiscal policy,” said Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “The DBM, in coordination with the implementing agencies, will continue to monitor and improve spending performance.”

“We expect government disbursements to ramp up further in the last two months of the year, especially with the one-year validity of the 2017 appropriations,” he added. “The government is committed in its full-year disbursement target of P2.909 trillion,” the DBM Secretary concluded.

For the full report on the National Government Disbursement Performance as of October 2017, visit the following link: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/DBCC/2017/October%202017%20Assessment_for%20posting.pdf

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For more information on the Department of Budget and Management visit: www.dbm.gov.ph

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Earlier today, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued Budget Circular No. 2017-4 outlining the guidelines on the grant of Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) to government personnel. The PEI of PhP 5,000 shall be given to government employees not earlier than December 15, 2017, provided that they are still in the service as of November 30, 2017 and that they have rendered at least a total of four (4) months of at least satisfactory service as of November 30, 2017.

The said Circular covers: (1) All positions of civilian personnel, whether regular, casual, or contractual in nature, appointive or elective, full-time or part-time, now existing or hereafter created in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, the Constitutional Commissions and other Constitutional Offices, SUCs, GOCCs not covered by Republic Act (RA) No. 10149, s. 2011 which are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and LWDs; (2) officials and employees of Local Government Units (LGUs); and (3) military personnel of the AFP and the DND, and uniformed personnel of the PNP, PPSC, BFP, and BJMP under the DILG, PCG under the DOTr, and the NAMRIA under the DENR.

The PEI is among the benefits included in Executive Order 201, s. 2016. As mandated by EO 201, the PEI is meant to improve the productivity of government workers. The PEI is granted to government workers, alongside the upward adjustment of the salary schedule in the bureaucracy, and new benefits such as mid-year bonus equivalent to one month basic salary.

For the national Government agencies, an estimated amount of PhP 7.5 billion has been set aside in the 2017 Budget to finance the PEI grant of around 1.5 million workers across the national government.

Budget Circular No. 2017-4 can be accessed through the DBM website with the following link:http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/Issuances/2017/Budget%20Circular/BUDGET%20CIRCULAR%20NO.%202017-4.pdf

For more information on the Department of Budget and Management, visit www.dbm.gov.ph

Republic Act No. 10121, otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, deems vital the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and recognize their contributions in the government's disaster risk reduction (ORR) efforts, as well as their voluntary commitments on social responsibility.

 
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DBM Assistant Secretary Amelita Castillo welcomes the participants from various government agencies.
 
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Dr. Steve Peterson, Course instructor, presents a diagram showing the scope of Public Financial Management.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is hosting an eight-week Executive Program on Public Financial Management (PFM). The Course, which will run every Friday starting today until December 8, 2017, intends to build professionalism in PFM by providing officials with a systematic overview of key issues in PFM, as well as bridging silos in PFM fields such as budgeting and accounting. It likewise aims to empower officials in the implementation of the budget reforms by equipping them with the necessary PFM knowledge and skills and promoting government ownership in the design and implementation of the reforms.

“As we push for the Budget Reform Bill, which if enacted will drastically change our budget processes, we need to be well-versed on the fundamentals of a sound public financial management (PFM) system and how these can be applied in the Philippines,” Assistant Secretary Amelita D. Castillo said as she welcomed the participants to their ‘first day of classes.’

“We are lucky that Prof. Steve Peterson, who has trained over 1,600 senior government officials from 54 countries, has graciously volunteered to teach all of us,” she added.

Prof. Peterson, who will handle all nine (9) sections of the course which he has delivered for 25 years at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, is currently a professor of Public Finance in the Melbourne School of Government of the University of Melbourne and has more than 35 years of experience in advising governments on PFM.

The first day of the Course, which tackled the Overview and Frameworks of PFM and the Budget
Constraint, was attended by 35 officials and senior staff from the Commission on Audit, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the DBM.

In the discussion, Prof. Peterson stressed the importance of managing fixed costs such as salaries and pensions which eat up a big portion of the budget.

The next session will be held on October 27 and will cover the following topics: Assessing PFM Systems and How Budgets and Accounts are Organized.

USECLiliaDBM Usec. Lilia Guillermo delivers her speech during the 5th GQMC Recognition held in Tagaytay City.
 
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DBM Usec. Lilia (seated 3rd from the left) and Asec. Myrna Chua (seated from the left) with the awardees of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certificates.
 

The achievement of ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) certification entails a rigorous journey that requires the strong commitment of the officers and staff of an agency that pursues it. The processes involved are complicated and challenging, but dedication and persistence have led to the success of the Government Quality Management Committee (GQMC) awardees, who rightly deserve the recognition accorded to them as they proudly shared their experiences in their respective journeys to certification.

This was the message of DBM Undersecretary Lilia C. Guillermo, Chief Information Officer and GQMC Alternate Member of the DBM, when she addressed the awardees at the 5th GQMC Recognition Ceremony of Government Organizations with ISO 9001 QMS Certification held last October 11. Usec. Guillermo represented DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, GQMC chair, in said event which was held at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Conference Center in Tagaytay City.

The Recognition Ceremony concluded the two-day Asian Productivity Organization (APO)-DAP International Conference on Public Sector Productivity, attended by more than 600 participants from 20 APO member-countries including representatives from various national and local government agencies and the academe.

Acknowledging that the journey was not “a walk in the park,” Usec. Guillermo cited the processes and activities involved, which include documentation of a quality policy, manual and procedures, series of trainings and orientations, meticulous audits and continual improvement of systems and procedures.
Underscoring the importance of the awards, she noted that the Philippines has been designated as the APO Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP), with the Development Academy of the Philippines as the focal organization and implementing institution. As such, it is “expected to share knowledge, innovations and best practices on PSP to the 20 APO member-countries.”

As a Center of Excellence, the country should promote the advancement of the PSP movement in the Asia and the Pacific Region, she explained. It should likewise aim to help address common and critical issues on PSP performance in APO member-countries; foster cutting-edge research, facilitate training and knowledge-sharing, and support APO member-countries in raising productivity of public sector organizations in the Region; and serve as a hub of a ‘web of collaborators’ (physical or virtual) on innovation and productivity in the public sector.

The 5th Government Quality Management Committee Recognition Ceremony for Government Organizations with ISO 9001 certification, meanwhile, showcased the best practices and success stories in promoting quality services from our local public sector. It also highlighted the celebration of the National Equality and Productivity Improvement Month which was declared thru a Presidential Proclamation since 1988.

“Our awardees, which earned the ISO 9001 QMS certification that has been accredited by independent third party Auditors, assure that their frontline services or core processes meet the global management standards and are expected to meet the requirements and satisfaction of their clients, especially the citizens,” she said.
“We are confident that in the near future, public sector productivity would specifically decrease, if not eliminate, long queues in government offices, cracked roads and wasted taxes, among other significant changes,” Usec. Guillermo concluded.

The APO member-countries consist of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Republic of China, Fiji, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.