Now that deliberations on the proposed P4.5 trillion 2021 national budget is on its final stage, a Makati-based think tank has called on the Duterte administration to make spending transparent to the people, especially in a time when huge budget allocations are needed to be responsive to health and economic crisis.

In a statement, Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute has urged the government to digitalize an Open Budget System (OBS).OBS is needed to facilitate access to documents related to public finance and execution of the budget. 

The think tank said the OBS will guarantee the reuse of data by all users. This will be considered as an important step towards transparency, corruption fight and avoiding waste of public resources.

dindo manhit - Duterte gov’t urged to make spending transparent – think tank
Prof. Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRi) (Credit: https://adrinstitute.org/team/)

“A digitalized budget process also increases accessibility through online and digital platforms while opening opportunities for public participation,” said Dindo Manhit, President of Stratbase ADRI.

Through digitalization, the Philippine government will not only be able to consolidate and analyze big data but will also be better equipped in organizing and translating the volume of information for the clear understanding of the Filipino public.

“We call on Philippine government to step up its efforts in fast-tracking digitalization, especially in a time when huge budget allocations are needed to be responsive to health and economic crisis caused by this virus from Wuhan,” Manhit said.

The digitization of the budget system will enable the government to better plan and manage its limited resources to efficiently fund the most urgent programs and projects and maximize the benefits to the most vulnerable sectors, Manhit said.

Moreover, it will also strengthen the capacity of the Philippine government to efficiently provide the Filipino public with significant budget information while ensuring transparency and accountability in all its procedures, said Manhit.

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