MANILA, Philippines – Now, there’s a more accessible way for the public to obtain information about the national budget and how it is being prepared.
Check out Budget ng Bayan, a new website launched on May 8 by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The website features basic budget information and an overview of the processes that underscore the budget cycle.
Just exactly what would one see in this website? Richard Moya, DBM Chief Information Officer, explained in an interview that the website will give information on the following:
- how the budget is crafted
- the spending distributions
- the governance philosophies behind government projects
- the budget allotted for each region
- the President’s budget message
Despite the text-heavy explanations of budgetary processes loaded in the site, DBM has incorporated easy-to-follow charts and illustrations for the public to understand technical discussions.
The site features three major sections:
- Budget 101
- MyBudget 2012
- Citizen’s Portal
Budget 101 presents an extensive and systematic step-by-step discussion of how the Philippine budget cycle goes: from budget preparation, legislation, execution, up to accountability.
MyBudget 2012 describes the budgeting process undertaken this year under the Aquino administration. Under this section, one would see how much budget is allocated for each sector and region in the country, among other information. Discussions under this section highlight the “Paggugol na Matuwid” theme of the current administration.
Citizen’s Portal is devoted for engagement of online visitors. This is where users can leave their feedback and concerns on the national budget and other related matters.
DBM officials claim that the website, especially with the Citizen’s Portal section, aims to promote public engagement in discussions that concern government spending.
Moya said that DBM aims to start a culture where people become critical of where their taxes go through this website. “The government can only hire so much auditors, but if everyone is an auditor then it would substantially help us in the government make financial transactions more transparent,” he said.
Budget and Management secretary Butch Abad, on the other hand, said they hope to improve transparency and accountability on how public funds are managed through the site.
“Information that was available only to certain parties and individuals is now open to all, and we believe that this will go a long way in establishing a lasting tradition of accountable budgeting, one that is inclusive and heedful of the people’s needs,” he said. – Rappler.com