Stories tagged
‘open budget survey’

Budget Talk

The PCIJ talked to regular people on the street and asked them about their knowledge about the government’s budget processes.


The laggard is leader, too

IN A FIELD of restored and restricted democracies, and repressive regimes, the Philippines’ so-so score in the 2010 Open Budget Survey is cause enough to celebrate. One of Southeast Asia’s economic laggards, the Philippines did one better: it tops 10 other countries in the region in terms of budget transparency.

This is even as the Philippines scored a measly 55 out of a possible 100.

Pinoys have full access to only 3 of 8 documents

RP scores so-so in survey
of budget transparency

TRANSPARENCY in government is a cornerstone policy that President Benigno C. Aquino III has promised to uphold. It has been put in doubt because of his perceived reluctance to divulge the report of the commission that investigated the hostage-taking tragedy last August 23 but he could still make good on his pledge by widening public access to government documents, starting with those on the budget.

As it is, the Philippines has a long way to go when it comes to having open budget books. Indeed, while a report released today by the U.S.-based International Budget Partnership (IBP) says that the Philippines has raised its budget transparency score by a full seven points from what it posted in 2008, it needs to open up some more. It remains one of the 74 out of the 94 countries that the IBP says failed to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability with national budgets.

P50-B ‘economic stimulus fund’ also ‘election stimulus fund’?

WORRY HAS taken over advocates of budget reform in Congress and civil society groups as the recently ratified budget bill for 2009 comes closer to becoming law. As they see it, crafty tricks have marred the preparation of the bill, which could so readily transform into a political tool for the Arroyo administration to influence the May 2010 elections in its favor.

Any time now, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be signing into law the enrolled bill that provides for P1.4-trillion national budget for 2009, including a P50-billion “economic-stimulus fund” that critics have tagged derisively as an “election-stimulus fund” for her political allies.

Philippine budget process: Less and less transparent

BY ALL accounts the freest democracy in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, ironically, has become less and less transparent in its budget and financial processes.

The situation makes it more difficult for citizens to hold the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accountable for cases of abuse, misuse, and corruption of public funds.