36 Years

36 Years: Understanding the budget

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36 Years: Understanding the budget
We speak to People’s Budget Coalition co-convenor Ken Abante about the budget process and what it means to make a people-centric budget

MANILA, Philippines – The months following a Philippine president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is typically a whirlwind for members of Congress, the media assigned to cover the legislature, and agency chiefs and their staff tasked to defend proposed budgets for the coming year. 

Within a month of the SONA, the executive is supposed to submit before Congress its proposed budget or the National Expenditure Program.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the budget affects each Filipino. At the same time, however, there are huge barriers to understanding and involving oneself in the long, arduous, but very important process of determining how our money is spent by the government. 

In this episode of 36 Years, we zoom in on more recent history: how budgets are made, and what it means to create a truly inclusive and people-centric budget.

We speak to People’s Budget Coalition co-convenor Ken Abante, who’s had experience both as a member of the bureaucracy – in the finance department, working in tandem with the budget department – and now, as an advocate for people’s participation in crafting the budget. 

Here are links to resources and topics discussed in the conversation: 

36 Years airs every Tuesday evening on Rappler’s social media pages and drops as an audio-only podcast every Thursday. – Rappler.com