MANILA The push to keep the Philippines' top spot in Asia in terms of budget transparency will get another boost through the conduct of the Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogue in General Santos City on Tuesday.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Cabinet Secretary and concurrent chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Leoncio "Jun" Evasco Jr. are the guest speakers of the General Santos City-leg of the Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogue being spearheaded by budget department.
The government has strengthened its tie-up with civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure a more effective delivery of public service.
This has resulted to sustained improvement of the country's Open Budget Index (OBI) to 67 out of 100 in 2017 from 64 in 2015, based on the biennial Open Budget Survey (OBS) being conducted by the International Budget Partnership.
The survey uses globally-accepted criteria developed by multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.
In Asia alone, the country got the highest score in 2017 followed by Indonesia, 64; Jordan, 63; Japan, 60; and South Korea, 60.
The Philippines ranked 19th worldwide, with a global OBI average at 42.
OBS uses 109 equally-weighted indicators to determine a country's budget transparency based on the amount and timeliness that a government discloses budget information to the public.
Public participation in the budget process as well as legislature and Supreme Audit Institution's' (SAI) oversight of the process are also among the factors being assessed.
In the 2017 survey, the country got a score of 41 for Public Participation, way better than the global average of 12, and one of the four countries that include New Zealand, Australia, and United Kingdom, which achieved a moderate score in this category.
Source: Philippine News Agency