Sunday, April 21, 2024

Budget Chief Calls For LGUs’ Full Budget Utilization

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Budget Chief Calls For LGUs’ Full Budget Utilization

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Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Wednesday called on local government units (LGUs) to ensure the full utilization of their respective budget allocations.

During the fifth leg of the Public Financial Management Competency Program (PFMCP) in Mandaue City, Cebu, Pangandaman underscored the crucial role of LGUs in making the PFM system more responsive and people-centered.

“This PFM Competency Program will help you create and execute the necessary programs, activities, and projects that will make your respective LGUs thrive because ultimately, that is the wisdom of the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court Ruling: to empower our LGUs to serve the people in your localities faster and better,” she said.

“And so we hope that this program will assist you in fully utilizing your respective National Tax Allotment, among other budget allocations. We want to ensure better and strategic planning as we strive to improve our processes for budget preparation and budget execution,” she added.

The PFMCP aims to provide a platform for local civil servants to improve their competencies and discuss best practices in budgeting, planning, managing finances and procurement.

The fifth leg of the program capacitates over 600 local PFM practitioners and budget officers from different LGUs in Central Visayas from Feb. 19 to 21.

Pangandaman urged the PFM practitioners to promote good governance, financial accountability and effective resource management in their respective localities.

She said PHP1.004 trillion of the PHP5.768 trillion national budget for 2024 is allocated to LGUs, with PHP182.34 billion earmarked for Visayas, PHP61.58 billion for the development of Central Visayas, and PHP31.58 billion for Cebu alone.

Pangandaman said the DBM is also supporting the 65 infrastructure flagship projects in the Visayas, which have an indicative total cost of PHP1.7 trillion, to boost growth in various areas such as the tourism sector.

“So, I hope that all these will be fully utilized para makita po natin ang kagandahan ng Bagong Pilipinas dito sa (so we can see the beauty of New Philippines here in) Visayas,” she added.

Pangandaman said her agency is also pushing for “new and improved” government procurement processes, noting it has already established an electronic market place for a “more efficient and faster” procurement.

She said that through the full adoption of the Integrated Financial Management Information System, the PFM processes will be digitalized, noting that the Budget and Treasury Management System will serve as a centralized database for all government financial operations.

“I cannot emphasize enough the crucial role of PFM practitioners in bridging the needs of our fellow Filipinos and the government’s responses, especially in crafting a truly inclusive and people-centered budget,” Pangandaman said.

“And this is what the Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines) is all about —shaping a government that is truly responsive to the needs of the people; one that is visionary and accountable to its constituents; and one that fulfills its promise of prosperity to everyone. Our growth and prosperity will never be truly inclusive without our local governments,” she added. (PNA)