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The Philippines to launch website for budget transparency

By the end of the month, the Department of Budget and Management will be launching a website called “Budget ng Bayan” (Budget of the Nation) which will enable users to get more detailed information about the budget being spent on Government proj...

02/03/2012

According to Richard Moya, Chief Information Officer at the Department of Budget and Management, the website will give relevant information on how the budget is crafted, the spending distributions, the governance philosophies behind government projects, the budget allotted for each region, and the President’s budget message.

Moya told FutureGov that the purpose of the website is to start a culture where people become critical of where their taxes go.

“The Government can only hire so much auditors, but if everyone is an auditor then it would substantially help us in the Government make financial transactions more transparent.” Moya said. Adding that this initiative is in line with President Aquino’s mandate to move the Government towards a “daang matuwid” (straight path).

He explained that the website will have functions that would enable users to give feedback or comments regarding the information published online. This will enable the department to engage citizens on mutual conversations regarding the numbers behind government projects and other issues that matter most to them.

During the interview, Moya recalled an incident that happened early this year regarding a technical glitch in the Department’s eTAILS (Electronic Transparency and Accountability Initiative for Lump Sum Funds), which erroneously reported Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to be Php 210 million.

“The error which created multiple identical entries for the purchase of multicabs and patrol vehicles for the Cavite local government— was reflected only in the web posting module, and not in the official release documents for the Senator’s PDAF.”

Moya said that they were able to fix the inaccuracies and has made sure that a similar incident would not happen again in the future.

“That incident was a blessing,” he said.

“We are pleased that a concerned newsman got in touch with us regarding the error, and it shows us that people are deeply interested in the matter through which we manage the people’s funds.”

"With the Budget ng Bayan, we hope to further improve transparency and accountability on how public funds are managed," Moya said.

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