DBM vows no delay in 2023 budget passage

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) vowed to pass on time President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s first full-year budget with the cooperation of Congress.

At the Post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic Briefing on Tuesday, July 26, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the administration will endeavor to pass the P5.268-trillion general appropriations act before yearend.

Pangandaman said DBM will submit the proposed budget to Congress on Aug. 22.

“We will endeavor to pass the budget on time with the help of our friends from Congress,” Pangandaman said.

“The DBM will endeavor to craft a budget anchored on the 8-point Socio-Economic Agenda towards sustainable and inclusive budget for prosperity and economic transformation,” she added.

Under the Constitution, the executive department shall submit the proposed national budget to Congress within 30 days from the opening of the regular session of the Congress.

During the event’s panel discussion, Pangandaman enumerated the Marcos administration’s top budget priorities, namely, education, health, social safety nets, infrastructure and agriculture.

She said education will continue to remain on top of the budget priorities as mandated by the Constitution.

Pangandalam also said that they plan to institutionalize the Cash-Based Budgeting System (CBS) or the Budget Modernization Bill to strengthen fiscal discipline among government employees.

The CBS aims to address bottlenecks in obligations, which will lead to on-time implementation and disbursement of the government’s programmed projects.

“We will use and allocate our scarce resources to be able to finance our priority programs and projects. We will ensure that every peso in our GAA (General Appropriations Act) will be spent and implemented timely,” Pangandaman said.

The Budget chief likewise mentioned digitalization to enhance bureaucratic efficiency citing the DBM’s roll-out of the Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS).

“We will roll out the Budget and Treasury Management System. It is an online ledger of all transactions of the government, from planning up to the release of the budget,” Pangandaman said.

“We will see the levels of the budget real-time. You’ll see the releases, you’ll see the balances of our budget. So it will ensure transparency in government transactions,” she added.