With the digitalization efforts of the government underway, the public may soon be able to know in real time how the national budget is utilized and monitor the status of government projects.
The Department of Budget and Management made this statement during the recent held Pilipinas Conference 2022 which was organized by think tank Stratbase ADR Institute.
DBM Undersecretary Maria Francesca Del Rosario, head of the Information and Communications Technology Group, said digitalization will ensure transparency and accountability in government.
“We’re pushing for the Budget and Treasury Management System, which is a system that enables efficiency and transparency of the government’s financial transactions. Ultimately, this data will be fed to a warehouse, where all the government agencies can open the data, get it real time. And the public will be able to know how the budget is being utilized,” Del Rosario explained.
“We’re also reviving Project DIME: Digital Imaging Monitoring Evaluation, where the public will see, using satellites, how much of the projects have been completed. They’ll be able to know the utilization and how long it will take to finish the project,” she added.
In her keynote speech, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said, through digitalization, the government hopes to energize citizen participation in governance.
Sec. Pangandaman said the government is in the process of establishing a Civil Society Organization (CSO) desk that will serve as the focal unit for all concerns related to public participation in the budget process, among others.
“The Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) Initiative will focus on harnessing technologies that will help build the capacity of CSOs to properly monitor and evaluate national commitments,” Pangandaman explained.
Stratbase President Professor Dindo Manhit also emphasized in his speech the importance of transparency in government to ordinary Filipinos.
“The Philippines is in a long emergency where the many people remain to be in poverty and unemployed. Data shows that Filipinos are jobless, hungry, and poor. They are clamoring for transparency and governance,” Manhit said.
“Only inclusive economic development will alleviate their suffering, but development will only be realized through good governance—transparency and accountability—that would bring much-needed investments and jobs,” he added.
Moreover, Del Rosario also said digitalization in government may lead to more foreign investors coming in the Philippines.
“There are also studies that shows that with digitalization in government, ease of doing business increases. And there are a lot of foreign investors that will be more enticed to come in the Philippines. That is our goal here,” she explained.
“We have also been informed by the World Bank and IMF that for every citizen that will benefit from digitalization, the GDP per capita increases by 0.3%. That’s their data and it’s one of our north stars in doing our projects in DBM. With that, hopefully, the public will support our cause,” she added.