The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) aims to further improve the Philippines’ budget transparency score in the Open Budget Survey (OBS).
The International Budget Partnership (IBP), which spearheads the OBS, has begun collecting data in over 100 countries for the 2019 round of the OBS. The IBP said that governments have until the end of this year to take meaningful steps to improve budget transparency, participation, and oversight.
In 2017, the Philippines’ transparency score was 67 points out of 100, significantly higher than Indonesia (64), Japan (60), South Korea (60), Thailand (56), Malaysia (46), Timor-Leste (42), Cambodia (20), Vietnam (15), and Myanmar (7).
Said score indicates that citizens have access to substantial budget information, which enables them to participate in decision making and hold the government to account. In addition, the Philippines is the only Asian country which received moderate scores for public participation, joining New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
The OBS evaluates budget transparency based on the comprehensiveness and public availability, in terms of timeliness of release, of eight (8) key budget documents: 1) Pre-Budget Statement, 2) Executive Budget Proposal, 3) Enacted Budget, 4) Citizens Budget, 5) In-Year Reports, 6) Mid-Year Report, 7) Year-End Report, and 8) Audit Report. The first seven are prepared by the DBM.
As a champion of budget transparency, DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno is hopeful the country will meet its target.
“We expect a higher rating this year given the timely publication of the Mid-Year Report in 2018. Also, the DBM has exerted efforts not only by making the budget available to the public, but also making budget documents comprehensive and citizen-friendly,” said Secretary Diokno.
PR No. 2019-37