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USECLiliaDBM Usec. Lilia Guillermo delivers her speech during the 5th GQMC Recognition held in Tagaytay City.
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.

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Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department Budget and Management (DBM) and Chair of the Government Quality Management Committee (GQMC) announces today’s conduct of the Recognition Ceremony for 52 entities from the National Government Agencies (NGAs), Other Executive Offices, Constitutional Office, Government –Owned and –Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local government units (LGUs), which have successfully obtained ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) certification for the period September 1, 2016 to September 22, 2017. This brings to fore about 633 ISO 9001 certified QMS processes in the public sector since 2004.

The GQMC is mandated to encourage and promote improved public sector performance through the adoption of ISO 9001 QMS in all government agencies, and to recognize citizen-driven government organizations that have attained ISO 9001 certification. Other members of the GQMC are the heads of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (Co-Chair);Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the President – Internal Audit Office (OP-IAO), and Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

The 5th Recognition Ceremony for Government Organizations with ISO 9001 QMS Certifications washeld at the DAP Conference Center, Tagaytay City.It also highlighted the celebration of the National Quality and Productivity Improvement Month, which was declared through a Presidential Proclamation in 1988.

The event was part of the of the two-day Asian Productivity Organization (APO)-DAPInternational Conference on Public Sector Productivity, with about 500 participants from 20 APO-member countries.With the theme “Transforming the Public Sector in the Age of Innovation”, the International Conference would enable multi-sectoral participation in enhancing overall productivity and quality enhancement thru knowledge sharing of experiences on emerging trends, technologies, methodologies, innovations and policies in the global public sector. The Awardees consisted of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB); Bureau of the Treasury (BTr); Insurance Commission; Privatization and Management Office; Mindanao Central Sanitarium; Schistosomiasis Hospital; Institute for Labor Studies (ILS); Professional Regulation Commission (PRC); Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI); Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI); Board of Investments (BOI); Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB); Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); APO Production Unit, Inc.; Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB); Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF); National Food Authority (NFA); National Transmission Commission (NTC); Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR); Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC); Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); Philippine Ports Authority (PPA); Philippine Postal Savings Bank, Inc. (PPSB); PNOC Renewables Corporation; Water Districts in Calumpit, Carcar City, Hagonoy, Metro Kidapawan, Norzagaray, and Plaridel; Aklan State University (SU); Catanduanes SU; Central Luzon SU; Marinduque SU; Pangasinan SU; West Visayas SU; Rizal Technological University; Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology; Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology; Southern Philippines Agri-Business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology; Technological University of the Philippines; University of Southern Mindanao; Provincial Governments of Aklan, Bohol, Cavite, Laguna and La Union; City Governments of Mandaue, Cebu; and Olongapo, Zambales; and Municipal Government of Guiguinto, Bulacan.

The Ceremony showcased the innovations and productivity initiatives for performance management systems of the Philippines as the APO Center of Excellence in Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP). As COE-PSP, our country is expected to share knowledge, innovations and best practices on PSP in Asia and the Pacific region. In the near future, the PSP would help decrease if not eliminate, long queues in government offices, cracked roads, and wasted taxes, among other significant changes.

Government entities which are ISO 9001 QMS certified by accredited 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.

For more information, visit, or follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter for updates.(Marlyn A. De Guzman, DBM-SPIB)

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The House of Representatives approved on second reading the proposed P3.767 trillion National Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 on Tuesday, September 12.  The Lower House began plenary deliberations on the Budget last Monday, September 4, as the lawmakers pushed for the passage of the General Appropriations Bill (House Bill 6215).

Over the past week, government agencies defended their respective budgets in the plenary debates at the Lower Chamber. This came after the various departments hurdled the careful scrutiny of lawmakers at the Committee level of the House of Representatives.

Appropriations Committee Chairperson, Hon. Karlo Alexei Nograles, previously urged his fellow lawmakers to carefully examine every peso that went into the programs, activities, and projects of the government. Moreso, he emphasized the importance of the National Budget in bringing to life the development agenda of the Duterte Administration. “At the end of the day, we want to pass a national budget that is just and attuned to the people’s needs,” Rep. Nograles said.

For his part, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno welcomed the passage of the 2018 Budget at the Lower House. “Being a strong articulation of the government’s pro-growth and pro-poor policy, we ought to keep an eye on the National Budget. It embodies no less than the collective needs, hopes, and aspirations of our people,” said the Budget Secretary. “We are optimistic of its progress in Congress and remain hopeful for its timely passage,” he added.

The Lower House-approved General Appropriations Bill will then be transmitted to the Senate, where Committee-level deliberations have also begun on the 2018 Budget. Both houses of Congress will then convene a Bicameral Conference Committee to reconcile disparities between their respective versions of the General Appropriations Bill.

The proposed P3.767 trillion 2018 National Budget, 12.4 percent higher than last year’s Budget, amounts to 21.6 percent of GDP. It will support the government’s objectives of achieving robust and inclusive growth of 7 to 8 percent in 2018.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will continue to release the Performance-Based Bonus of eligible government employees, according to DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno.

“There is no withholding of the PBB for FY 2017. In fact, the FY 2016 PBB release is ongoing and the Memorandum Circular for the FY 2017 PBB was issued last March 9, 2017. The PBB for FY 2017 will be released starting first quarter of FY 2018,” said Secretary Diokno.

The Budget chief further added that the PBB has been effective in increasing compliance to good governance standards, instilling financial discipline, and improving performance management.

“We were able to push compliance to budget, procurement, service standards, and SALN disclosures,” said the Secretary.

The DBM has in fact recorded improvement in compliance with good governance conditions: Transparency Seal increased from 87% in 2012 to 98% in 2016; Citizen’s Charter, from 79.8% in 2011 to 99.7% in 2016; PhilGEPS, from 32% in 2011 to 92% in 2016; and Report on Ageing of Cash Advances, from less than 30% in 2011 to 97% in 2016.

With the PBB, the agencies are now more conscious about budget utilization, as well as linking individual to office performance.

However, Secretary Diokno explained that there is a need to review the PBB eligibility process.

“We must tighten the system of granting the PBB, simplify the validation and address the unintended consequences, like the tendency of agencies to under-target. In this way, we can push for excellence in performance in the bureaucracy,” said the Secretary.

The DBM and partner agencies are also studying the possibility of focusing the PBB for FY 2018 and FY 2019 on attaining process objectives and results rather than Major Final Output (MFO) targets, in keeping with President Duterte’s order to streamline frontline services and reduce administrative burden.

“We are also thinking of rewarding agencies for management improvements in planning procurement, and financial management to improve their absorptive capacity and deliver more services in line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP),” added the Budget chief.

The proposed changes in the PBB will be discussed with the members of the AO 25 Inter-Agency Task Force and other concerned agencies.

For more information, visit, or follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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With the Duterte Administration pursuing an expansionary fiscal policy in the medium-term, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno assures investors and stakeholders that the fiscal plan remains to be prudent, appropriate, and sustainable.

Early into the term of President Duterte, the economic managers decided to increase the planned deficit from 2 to 3 percent of GDP to be financed with borrowings. Such a strategy was adopted to generate resources for the ambitious infrastructure and social services programs of the government, necessary investments for a young and developing country like the Philippines.

“Despite the rise in government borrowings, we have safeguards in check to ensure that the fiscal plan will support our development objectives rather than burden future taxpayers and the economy,” said Budget Secretary Diokno.

He disputed the notion that the higher deficit will plunge the Philippine economy into an imminent debt crisis. “First and foremost, economic expansion will outpace the rise in borrowings: nominal economic growth is projected to be about 10 percent (7 percent real growth plus 3 percent inflation rate), while the cost of borrowing will be less than 3 percent,” he said. “This is why the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to decline in the medium-term,” he added.

The debt-to-GDP ratio, a gauge of an economy’s capacity to pay off its debts, shows the proportion of government debt to nominal GDP. In 2017, the Philippine economy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated at 40.6 percent. The economic managers project this ratio to decline further to 37.7 percent come 2022.

“As a rule of thumb, a country with debt-to-GDP ratio at 60 percent or lower is considered fiscally responsible. The ratio is also the required level for European Union membership,” said Secretary Diokno. “Hence, in spite of our borrowings, our debt profile remains low and falling. In fact, it will earn the envy of many countries, both emerging and advanced,” he added.

What is pertinent, therefore, in the assessment of a country’s debt position is not merely the nominal amount of the debt, but its value relative to the size of the economy. Doing so will take into account an economy’s capacity to pay off its debt.

At the same time, Secretary Diokno emphasized the favorable borrowing mix that the government will follow to manage foreign exchange risks. The government will follow an 80-20 mix, in favor of domestic borrowings, to lessen its exposure to currency market volatilities. He maintained that the 20 percent mix for foreign borrowings has been adopted to take advantage of concessional borrowing rates offered by foreign governments. “We have tried to balance guarding against forex risks, and taking advantage of favorable rates in foreign borrowing – the result is this 80-20 financing mix,” said Secretary Diokno.

Furthermore, the Philippine economy has hefty gross international reserves (GIR) on top of huge dollar receipts owing to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. The rule of thumb is that foreign reserves should cover at least three months’ worth of imports; ours cover over nine months’ worth of imports as of July 2017. The gross international reserves serve as a buffer to protect an economy from external crises such as severe foreign exchange depreciation. This level will remain stable through the rest of the Duterte administration, thereby hedging against external risks.

Concerns that the Duterte administration’s expansionary fiscal strategy may lead to indebtedness are therefore unsubstantiated, considering the current and expected levels of debt-to-GDP ratio, the borrowing mix to be adopted, and the hefty gross international reserves at the disposal of the monetary authorities. The Philippine economy’s fiscal position is therefore secure and sustainable, as the increased deficit will expand the capacity of the economy.

Duterte Administration compared to Marcos Administration

The ambitious infrastructure program of the Duterte Administration has also led some to draw comparisons with the public investment program of former President Ferdinand Marcos, and consequently the debt crisis that plagued the Philippine economy in the 1980’s. Prior to the crisis in 1983, capital outlays as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hovered at 5 percent. This is comparable to the projected capital investment program of the Duterte

Furthermore, in 1983, towards the end of the Marcos administration, the borrowing mix was at a ratio of 50-50, half from domestic sources and half from foreign sources. Consequently, outstanding foreign debt grew by 312.3% from 1983 to 1984. This is one of the reasons why the Philippines’ foreign debt ballooned during the said era, with the peso experiencing a series of devaluations during the Marcos Administration.

In sharp contrast with the financing strategy of the Marcos administration, the Duterte administration’s 80-20 borrowing mix would rely heavily on domestic borrowing. Yet, it would be opportunistic: it would also take advantage of favorable rates and terms offered by foreign loans.

Budget Utilization Update
Another important aspect in assessing the medium-term fiscal policy is the government’s capacity to spend given its additional resources. As of the first semester of FY 2017, the Duterte Administration has narrowed underspending – measured as the difference between program and actual disbursements – to P5.9 billion (or 0.4 percent of the program). This is a marked improvement from the underspending rates recorded in 2014 and 2015 at 13.3 and 12.8 percent, respectively. Underspending for 2016 also improved at 3.6 percent, considering that the Duterte Administration only took over in the second half of the year.

The DBM will ensure the timely and efficient utilization of publicresources for the second half of
the year, with the full-year disbursement target at P2.909 trillion.

Future Outlook
In brief, concerns over a looming debt crisis, as a result of the Duterte administration’s expansionary fiscal policy are unwarranted. Economic conditions have changed for the better, and we have learned from the mistakes of the past.
The expansionary fiscal policy will therefore support the Administration’s objectives of pushing the economy to upper-middle income status and reducing poverty to 14 percent by 2022.

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The Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO), together with the Procurement Service-Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PS-PhilGEPS), brought together procurement practitioners from various government agencies and the private sector in a two-day forum entitled Market Procurement Opportunities Summit on September 4-5, 2017 in Pasig City.

The Market Procurement Opportunities Summit, the first of its kind, is conducted by the GPPB-TSO to “provide a platform for government agencies to showcase programs, activities and projects that are up for procurement this 2018, and introduce prospective suppliers, contractors, and consultants to their requirements,” according to Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno’s welcome address, which was delivered by GPPB-TSO Executive Director V Atty. Dennis Santiago.

“The government is the single largest buyer in the market, spending a significant portion of its budget, around 10-20% of the GDP, to procure goods, infrastructure projects and consulting services in order to fulfill its mandate. Meanwhile, the zealous participation of the private sector in competitive public bidding ensures that the government gets value for its money,” relayed Atty. Santiago.

The Budget Secretary related the important role of Government Procurement to the Duterte administration’s bold and ambitious infrastructure project, “Build BuildBuild”, emphasizing that the success of national infrastructure projects for transportation, water resources, sewerage and sanitation, flood management, solid waste management, maritime, social infrastructure, energy, information communications technology, and many others, relies on the private sector’sknowledge of the necessary information to be effective partners of the government.

The GPPB-TSO through the Summit, also endeavors to “inform both government and private procurement practitioners of the updates in the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), which became effective last 28 October 2016.”

The updates in the revised IRR of the GPRA reflect the government’s thrust to simplify and modernize government procurement, attract excellent partners from the private sector, and thus expedite public service delivery.

Some of the updates on the revised IRR focus on issues such as (1) poor procurement planning, delay in budget approval, delay in procurement, and underspending; (2) lack of members to constitute the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC); (3) low turn-out of procurement observers; (4) poor specifications; (5) non-refundable fee for bidding documents; and (6) disqualification of bidders/failure of bidding due to documentary requirements.

Seeing that the Market Procurement Opportunities Summit is an important and productive event to the government as well as to many private firms, the GPPB-TSO and its mother agency, the DBM, plan to make it an annual event that will facilitate and significantly improve the cooperation between the government and private business entities.

For more information on the Market Procurement Opportunities Summit, visit and Follow @DBMgovph on Facebook and Twitter for updates. To access DBM Secretary Diokno’s Opening Remarks at the Summit, go

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Manila, Philippines – Local and international representatives from government and civil society met during the High Level Regional Conference on Open Government held at the Philippine International Convention Center on August 15, 2017 to discuss Open Government initiatives within the ASEAN region. The Conference is a side event of the Philippines’ Chairmanship of the ASEAN.

Cabinet Secretary LeoncioEvasco Jr. gave the keynote speech while OGP Deputy CEO Joe Powell, Director Jeffrey Lehrer of the Office of Economic Development and Governance of USAID Philippines, and Deputy Minister SlametSoedarsono of Indonesia’s National Development and Planning Ministry gave their respective messages of support.

Secretary Evasco says that the OGP is “part of the Change agenda of the Duterte administration.

DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, co-chairperson of the PH-OGP Steering Committee, echoed his remarks in an AVP. “[The Philippines’] participation in OGP clearly shows the Duterte administration is determined to deliver on our promise to listen to the people and serve them better”, Secretary Diokno said.

DBM Undersecretary Laura Pascua, alternate co-chairperson, led the discussion during the Regional Roundtable Discussion on Open Government, along with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC CatalinoCuy and Indonesia Deputy Minister SlametSoedarsono. They were joined by Civil Society participants from the ASEAN Region, namely, PH-OGP Steering Committee Co-Chair (CSO counterpart) Ms. Natalie Christine Jorge, Ms. Lia Toriana of Transparency International Indonesia, Ms. Nwe Win Zin from Myanmar, and Ms. Vien Nguyen from Thailand.

During the same event, the 2017-2019 Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) National Action Plan (NAP)was launched and the Memorandum for Understanding for Subnational Commitments was signed.The PH-OGP NAP is the fourth for the country which features 12 commitments that are being led both by government and civil society. The signed MOU for Subnational Commitments, on the other hand, signifiesthe thrust of the current administration to bring down Open Government to the provincial and municipal level. Present at the MOU signing were DILG officials OIC CatalinoCuy and Undersecretary Austere Panadero, League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) Secretary-General Governor Edgardo Chatto of Bohol, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) OIC Executive Director Crystal Eunice Dela Cruz, and Local Government Representatives.

Questions from audience members were also entertained during the Panel Discussion on Open Government and Participatory Government. The panel was composed of Undersecretary Gloria J. Mercado from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), DBM Fiscal Planning and Reforms Bureau (FPRB) Director Rolando Toledo, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – Facilitating Public Investment Project (FPI) Deputy Chief of Party Bruce Hutchins, and Director Francisco Magno from the Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance of De La Salle University, and moderated by Ms. Vivien Suerte-Cortez, Country Engagement Officer of the Making All Voices Count Project.

The conference served as avenue to discuss, recognize and share the best practices in implementing good governance initiatives between and among ASEAN members and selected countries, and to encourage fellow ASEAN member-countries to join the Open Government Partnership.

The OGP is a Washington, DC-headquartered global organization that was established in 2011 through the partnership of eight countries that bid to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and tap new technologies to enhance governance.

The Philippines is among the eight founding members of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and is recognized as a regional champion, having been twice awarded for citizen participation and participatory budgeting in the past.

At present, the Philippines and Indonesia are the two ASEAN members that are part of this global governance transparency initiative.