President Rodrigo Duterte has floated the possibility of requiring all state departments and offices to use a logbook to record their respective transactions in a bid to fast-track the release of government funds, especially after Taal Volcano erupted.
He said this after Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado on Tuesday told the local officials of Batangas present during the situation briefing to use their respective calamity funds first before seeking help from the national government.
“Can you abbreviate the protocols? Make it easy. For example, if the request is there, you write it on a logbook. Siguro after two or one day, you can release the fund. If it’s there and if it’s for the spending when there is really need to inquire with their—what are you going to do with the money and how are you spending it,” President Duterte said.
The President, who called himself a “very impatient man,” also lamented over the slow government transactions which delay public services, even in times of calamity.
“I will require every department, all of you Cabinet members, ask the bureaus to have a logbook,” Duterte said.
“Tell them, you write all the things that you need for a particular transaction or paper or document in your office. List it in the logbook when it was submitted. Then, in another logbook or across it, indicate when it was released so I will audit it,” he added.
Avisado explained that local government units need to show first that their calamity funds have dried up before seeking help from the national government.
“This is our standard in the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] that before the national government gives you help, you need to show that you have spent your funds first,” Avisado said. MJ Blancaflor
Avisado assured them the national government has enough funds that can be utlized should the local executives seek assistance.
“At the moment, I would imagine all our departments, especially first responders, are getting their funds from the continuing appropriations that they have,” he said.
“But anyhow, we are assured that the government has more than enough funds. I say more than enough because we are still beginning the 2020 national budget utilization, Avisado added.