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The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) may yet achieve its goal of universal health coverage for all Filipinos, with an increased budget of PhP67.4 billion for its National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) in 2019.  The proposed budget is 24.4% higher than the 2018 cash-based equivalent budget of PhP54.1 billion.   For 2019, the Program is expected to benefit 15.4 million indigent families, 5.4 million senior citizens, 25,514 families under the PAyapa at MAsaganangPamayaNAn (PAMANA) Program, and 22,709 families under the Bangsamoro health insurance program. According to Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, the increased budget for Philhealth is an expression of the Duterte Administration’s commitment to achieve universal health coverage in the country.   As of March 2018, the country’s health insurance program recorded a coverage of 98.24 million Filipinos, or 92% of the entire Philippine population.  Of the total budget for the NHIP, PhP3.0 billion will be set aside for the Point-of-Service (POS) Program, which will target the remaining eight percent (8%) of the population that have not yet been covered by the health insurance program. Under this program, the PhilHealth...
Thumbnail The Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Commission on Audit (COA), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) have amended Joint Circular No.1, s. 2017 to allow agencies to contract the services of new contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) workers and renew existing contracts of COS and JO workers until December 31, 2020. This transitory period is to ensure that delivery of public services will not be impaired. In addition, starting January 1, 2019, COS and JO workers shall be paid a salary or wage equivalent to the daily salary or wage of comparable positions in the government and a premium of up to 20% of the salary or wage. The premium payment may be paid monthly, in lump sum or in tranches, as may be stated in the agreement or contract with the agency. The payment for services shall be charged against the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses of the agency’s approved budget.    Furthermore, existing qualified COS and JO workers shall be considered for appointment to the vacant positions of government agencies subject to existing civil service laws, rules, and regulations and CSC-approved Merit Selection Plans. Since the issuance of Joint Circular No. 1, the CSC,...
Thumbnail DBM Secretary Diokno opens the construction forum of the Philippine Constructors’ Association (PCA) with a keynote address, focusing on Build Build Build funding mechanisms.   “Our massive investments in infrastructure and human capital are clear proof that we are committed to transforming the Philippines into Asia’s next success story,” DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno expressed as he opened the Philippine International Construction Equipment, Building Materials, Interior & Exterior Products Exhibition and Technology Forum with a keynote address.   The forum, attended by developers, engineers, and members of  the construction industry, centered on the theme of “Understanding construction contracts towards global excellence”. Given this, the DBM Secretary, in his keynote address, highlighted the administration’s ambitious Build Build Build infrastructure program, with emphasis on the government’s preferred mechanisms and funding options in awarding project contracts.   “To forward the Golden Age of Infrastructure, the government uses all possible funding options including funding through the budget, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Unsolicited Proposal subject to Swiss Challenge, and...
Thumbnail DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno leads the Philippine Delegation to the Open Government Partnership Asia Pacific Regional Meeting held  in Seoul, South Korea on November 5-6, 2018.      DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno gave the keynote speech and led the launching of a new civic technology during one of the sessions of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia Pacific Regional Meeting held in Westin Chosun Seoul Hotel, South Korea yesterday.   In his speech during the Philippine-Government Led session on #CivicTechAsia: using civic technologies for governance innovation, Secretary Diokno emphasized the “huge potential of technology to create innovations which can improve the way that business is done in government.”   “Technology facilitates linkage-building between government and citizens, and also enables interoperability among separate government systems for a whole-of-government approach to public service delivery,” he said.   PH gov’t launches mobile app for monitoring of projects DevLive Initiative key stakeholders(from left to right): Aurora de Guzman, Auditor, Coalition for Bicol Development; Malou Mangahas, Executive Director, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism; Ester...
Thumbnail MANILA - The Project DIME team of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) held a 2-day project workshop and Open Roads platform training for various stakeholders in October 29 to 30 at the DBM Central Office.   A total of 62 technical and focal persons from different agencies (i.e. DEPED, DPWH, DOTR, DOH, DICT, NEDA, DOST), including the DIME task forces from the regional offices of the DBM attended the workshop.   This 2-day orientation was held to train the participants in the application of satellite imagery, geo-tagging applications, and other project processes, which is crucial in verifying the status of programs, activities, and projects. Overseeing projects in far-flung areas wherein in-person physical inspection would prove difficult is especially dependent on these technologies as it ensures that the government money is well spent.  Undersecretary Lilia Guillermo during her in depth talk about Project DIME.   Day 1 focused on orienting the participants to Project DIME. Undersecretary Lilia Guillermo discussed the rationale of the project and the statistics with regard to the current conditions of projects together with Senior Budget and Management Specialist Edelita...
Thumbnail Following nine consecutive months of increase in the prices of goods, the government’s economic team is glad to report to the public that the country’s inflation rate is pointing towards a downward path. The Philippine Statistics Authority said that, while the year-on-year headline inflation in October 2018 was steady at 6.7 percent, seasonally adjusted month-on-month inflation eased further to 0.3 percent. Last month’s adjustments in the overall price level in Metro Manila alone slowed down further to 6.1 percent, while inflation outside Metro Manila remained at 6.8 percent.    Concerted government efforts, as prescribed in Administrative Order 13, to tame the prices of goods in the previous months have finally resulted in expected outcomes. And such promising results further motivate the economic team to work closely with all concerned government agencies to more aggressively implement mitigating measures to ease inflation over the medium- and long-term. As always, the economic team is mindful that much attention has to be given to food, which remains to be the major contributor to inflation even as its price decelerates.To hasten the decline in consumer prices, the government...
Thumbnail As of October 25, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released PhP 3.599 trillion, or 96% of the PhP 3.767 trillion budget for fiscal year 2018. “We are in the fourth quarter of the year so we will secure the swift release of funds as authorized by the General Appropriations Act (GAA),” said Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. “79% of the 2018 Budget was released in January 2018 and we have maintained the quick yet prudent pace of budget releases,” he added.   Allotment releases issued by the DBM, enable agencies to incur obligations to finance the delivery of public services, such as roads and bridges, health and education services, and other poverty reduction programs and projects. In fact, allotment releases to the line departments have reached PhP 2.220 trillion, which is 97% of the programmed budget for government agencies. These include funds allocated for departments in the Executive branch, Congress, the Judiciary, and other constitutional offices.   Meanwhile, fund releases from Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) have amounted to PhP 397.1 billion, equivalent to 80% of the allocation to SPFs in the 2018 Budget. Most of the releases have come from the...

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