Philippines No. 1 in Budget Transparency in Asean Abad: Open Budget Index Results A ‘Resounding Affirmation’

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) today celebrated the results of the 2015 Open Budget Survey (OBS), which gave the Philippines the highest score for budget transparency in Southeast Asia, and which likewise ranked the country 2nd in Asia and 21st in the world for transparent and open budget management.

According to the 2015 OBI, the Philippines’ score went up to 64, surpassing the National Government’s own target of 60 and bringing the Philippines within the group of countries with “significant” or “substantial” transparency, which includes South Korea.

“We’re elated that the IBP has recognized the tremendous improvement in budget transparency and participation under the Aquino administration. Reforming the budget has been a formidable task to date, and the last two years have been especially challenging for the DBM. Yet the Open Budget Survey results are a resounding affirmation of our reform efforts,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

The results this year also show a significant improvement in the Philippines’ score, which was 48 out of 100 in 2012. The average score among countries surveyed for the 2015 OBI is at 48, making budget transparency levels in the Philippines above-average on a global scale.

Spearheaded by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), the OBS is a biennial survey that measures the state of budget transparency, participation, and oversight in countries around the world.

“The independent nature of the survey and the thoroughness of its methodology make the OBS a highly credible standard for budget transparency. Sometimes, the DBM receives criticism for its openness initiatives under the Administration, including Bottom-Up Budgeting. We believe the IBP’s positive assessment of the Philippines will balance out that criticism. After all, transparent, accountable, and participatory budgeting should not be opposed or condemned. It should be celebrated and encouraged,” Abad said.

The OBS gauges budget transparency on the basis of public availability and comprehensiveness of the eight Essential Budget Documents: the Pre-Budget Statement, the Executive’s Budget Proposal, the Enacted Budget, the Citizen’s Budget, the In-Year Reports, the Mid-Year Review, the Year-End Report, and the Audit Report. According to the 2015 OBI report, all of these reports were fully published by the Philippines.

The survey also measures the country’s budget oversight by the legislature and the supreme audit institution (SAI), as well as the extent of public participation in the country’s budget process.

Original Article:

Department of Budget and Management

OSEC-Public Information Unit