THE Philippines ranked first in Asia and 19th globally in providing adequate and timely information on the national budget, according to the results of the latest 2017 Open Budget Survey released Wednesday.
Making an improvement in two years, the Philippines scored 67 out of 100 for budget transparency in 2017, three points higher than the country’s 64 in 2015, when the biennal survey was last conducted.
In Asia, Indonesia follows at second spot with 64 points, followed by Jordan (63), Japan (60), and South Korea (60).
“We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished to date. In surpassing our Asian neighbors, we have further cemented our position as a global leader in Open Government. It encourages us to persevere, to do even better, in the years ahead.” said Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who welcomed results of the survey.
The DBM recently made changes on how the budget is being presented.
Starting 2018, the agency’s non-financial performance targets were included alongside with their budget proposals.
In previous years’ fiscal budgets, expenditures were being presented in terms of the Major Final Outputs of the agency, or the outputs delivered by the agency to its external clients.
The Philippines also boasts a score of 41 in terms of the extent of public participation in the country’s budget process and budget oversight by the legislature and the Supreme Audit Institution.
The country’s figure is more than three times the global average of 12 and is one of only four countries to achieve a moderate score in the category—sharing this distinction with New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Philippines holds a score of 65 for Budget Oversight, with the legislature and the Commission on Audit providing adequate oversight over the budget.
“The Department of Budget and Management will continue to work with the legislature, our constitutional bodies, and our citizens to further enhance budget openness in the public sector,” Diokno said.
The Open Budget Survey is a biennial survey conducted by the International Budget Partnership which assesses budget transparency based on the amount and timeliness of budget information governments make available to the public.
After being evaluated against 109 equally weighted indicators, each country receives a composite score (out of 100) that determines its ranking on the OBI.