DBM details initiatives for open governance
NIÑA MYKA PAULINE ARCEO
The Manila Times
INITIATIVES are be implemented to further promote open government and fiscal transparency, a Cabinet official said. During the Freedom of Information (FOI) #InfoDataQuest Launch and Workshops on Thursday, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman discussed measures aimed at fully attaining honest governance. “In addition to the FOI, we are implementing several initiatives to achieve an open government and ensure fiscal transparency,” she said. “Currently, we lead the Philippine Open Government Partnership or the PH-OGP, the main consultation platform of the Participatory Governance Cluster of the Cabinet that provides a platform for interface between the government and the citizens,” Pangandaman added. The FOI program, the Budget chief said, has primarily been behind PH-OGP’s success “as it empowers citizens to request information about government transactions and operations.” The creation of a Fiscal Openness Working group was also included in the budget sector’s initiative, which stemmed from the development of the Fiscal Openness Action Plan, to oversee the country’s progress in the Open Budget Survey. “We have been doing our best to ensure that every allocation, decision and program implementation involves public participation,” Pangandaman said. A working group has put in place the DBM Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Desk, which facilitates CSO engagement by responding to information requests and answering budgetrelated questions. “Rest assured the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) is one with you as you continue to implement and promote access to information mechanisms in the country,” Pangandaman said. Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo also spoke about the country’s fiscal landscape at the #InfoDataQuest Launch and Workshops. He reiterated the importance of the DBM in guaranteeing budgetary transparency. Toledo said the Philippines had been recognized as a global leader in fiscal transparency due to the increase in citizen access to information and opportunities to participate in the budget process. “The ability to leverage technology to improve availability and access to budget information by the public has allowed us to do this,” Toledo added.