When asked about what she wants to be known for as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman was quick to respond— the one who maximizes technology and enhances transparency in the budgetary process.
Secretary Pangandaman made the statement during a recent interview with SMNI. Under her leadership, the Budget Secretary vowed to strengthen the use of technology to enhance bureaucratic efficiency, including in government fiscal reporting.
“We want to maximize really the use of technology for our reporting system. Ngayon kasi medyo manu-mano. I think it’s about time for us to have something that is transparent to everyone. Like when you see it on our website, it’s on time, and then, you’ll be able to analyze more efficiently and quickly,” Secretary Pangandaman said.
To achieve this, Secretary Pangandaman highlighted the development and implementation of the Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS) as one of the major projects of the DBM.
As a centralized database, BTMS will facilitate the generation of vital information on government financial transactions; enable real-time mapping of transactions, from purchase to payment; and allow expedient and accurate financial management, improved data governance, and enhanced oversight control.
The key objective of the BTMS is to achieve the future state of public financial management, where all spending agencies would capture government transactions at source using the BTMS as the sole accounting and fiscal reporting system.
Secretary Pangandaman further said that she intends to enhance transparency and accountability in the DBM to promote ease of public access to information.
“The fund, the money that we allocate for our people, pera n’yo ‘yan e. Pera ‘yan ng taong bayan. Galing ‘yan sa buwis na binabayad natin. So as much as possible, I want sana for people to see na ‘yung mga binabayad nila na buwis, they also see kung ano at saang proyekto o programa ginagamit ng gobyerno.”
On the status of the country’s NDRRM fund
1. Currently, the remaining National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) balance for 2022 is P6.8 billion.
In the aftermath of natural disasters and other calamities, concerned agencies can tap on the remaining P6,863,219,462 in NDRRMF for the rest of 2022, subject to applicable provisions in the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The remaining balance of P6.8 billion is part of the total P20 billion budget allocated for disaster risk reduction and management for this year.
Please note that under the 2022 GAA, P19 billion was allocated for programmed appropriations in the NDRRMF, while P1 billion has been set aside for the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (MRRP).
2. DBM increases NDRRMF from 20 to 31B in the 2023 NEP
To improve the government’s response to calamities, the DBM has increased the NDRRMF from this year’s P20 billion to P30 billion, plus a P1-billion budgetary allocation for the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Fund under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP).
This is an P11-billion increase from the current 2022 GAA NDRRMF Budget of P20 billion.
The increase is in adherence to the directive of the President to transform the economy into something that is proactive rather than reactive, and to strengthen the country’s readiness and response efforts in times of disasters.
In his budget message, the President made it very clear when he said: “We must transform our economy from one that is reactive, where our people suffer the effects of economic shocks, to one that is proactive, where our people are prepared and our economy is spared. We must meet our productivity goals regardless of the disasters and crises that may come our way.”
One cannot always predict the frequency, magnitude and impact of any disaster. But at all times, the DBM believes that it is always better to be prepared.