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Gov't launches open budgeting initiative

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In line with the Aquino government’s commitment to transparent, accountable and participatory governance, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has launched Wednesday two key initiatives for open budgeting.

The first is the 2011 People’s Budget: A simplified version of the 2011 National Budget.

“We translated the National Budget into a language that is easier to understand by the people. This, we hope, will be able to help citizens participate more in the budget process,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.

The People’s Budget contains a summary of the 2011 General Appropriations Act, including budgetary allocations for priority programs and projects under President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People. It also contains basics on the Philippine budget process.

The second is the electronic Transparency and Accountability Initiative for Lump Sum Funds or eTAILS, a management information system that digitizes the processing of lump sum funds and supports the timely disclosure of lump sum fund release information on the DBM website.

For the phase 1 of e-TAILS, the module for the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) has been rolled-out. “This will help us not only to accurately keep track of information on such releases but also to allow the people to scrutinize how their money is allocated by their elected officials,” the reform advocate said.

For the phase 1 of e-TAILS, other lump-sum funds including the internal revenue allotment of local government units and the school building fund are now under development.

In addition, the phase 2 will be developed to strengthen accountability in the use of lump-sum funds.

Its features will enable agencies to electronically submit reports together with photos, video and other supporting files on projects under lump sum funds.

By Chino S. Leyco




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