The DBCC Legacy Book: A testament of working in harmony for a prosperous economy



Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

As chairperson of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), I felt honored to be joined by our key stakeholders as we celebrated its 54th year of service last week. I was especially proud to lead the launch of the legacy book titled “50 Years in Harmony: A Historical Review of the Development Budget Coordination Committee,” commemorating the Committee’s golden anniversary, which we were not able to celebrate in 2020 because of the pandemic. The book documents the achievements, challenges, and reforms of the DBCC under eight administrations with 17 chairpersons from 1970 to 2020.

As you know, the DBCC, formerly known as the Presidential Development Budget Committee, is an inter-agency body established on May 14, 1970 by virtue of Executive Order No. (EO) No. 232 “to ensure harmony and consistency as to the ends and objectives of the Annual Budget and Long-Range Development Plans.” This necessitated the government’s development planning agencies and other principal fiscal agencies to be fully involved in basic budgetary decision-making.

The DBCC is composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), tasked with promoting the sound, efficient, and effective management and utilization of government resources; the Department of Finance, which is responsible for revenue generation and debt management; the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which is in charge of formulating continuing, coordinated, and fully integrated socioeconomic policies, plans, and programs; the Office of the President, which provides Presidential Oversight; and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a resource institution on monetary measures and policies.

And, even with the publication of EO No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987, its mandated tasks and functions have remained consistent with the spirit of the five-decade-old EO — to assist in shaping the country’s economic landscape through its review and approval of macroeconomic targets, revenue projections, borrowing levels, aggregate budget level, and expenditure priorities. I trust this illustrates how the DBCC has remained relevant across the years: to finance, protect, and support the expansion and development of the Philippine economy while maintaining coherence among the agencies. 

I firmly believe that the DBCC’s strength lies in its various member agencies, which bring various perspectives to maximize the economy’s growth potential while promoting fiscal stability. Hence, the title of the legacy book is fitting since it is only through the harmonious collaboration of the member agencies that we have achieved economic progress and weathered global headwinds throughout the last five decades.

I therefore join President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PBBM) in lauding the economic luminaries of the DBCC who served at different points in our history for their efforts. In the book’s Foreword, PBBM described that they “have no doubt been invaluable in pursuing growth, steering the economy out of many crises, and securing fiscal stability under various administrations.”

The book is a collection of articles written by esteemed experts in fiscal and monetary policies, socio-economic strategies, and budget reforms. The current DBM Principal Economist Jojit Basilio discussed the history and mandate of the DBCC and the evolution of fiscal policy in the Philippines. Meanwhile, to provide a historical analysis of the Philippine Budget Process, Dr. Jaime Laya, the first Minister of the Budget (1978-1981), in his article, discussed the development of the Philippine budget process. Minister of Budget and Management (1986-1987) and Senator Alberto Romulo delved into the role of the Legislature in the budget process. From the perspective of the Judiciary, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Alexander Gesmundo provided a judicial review on preserving the rule of law in the budget process. As trust is essential in the budgeting process, DBM Usec. Margaux Salcedo shared the role of communication in the budget process. 

For a historical review of the socio-economic planning and fiscal and monetary policy in the Philippines, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan recalled the five decades of Philippine economic development planning, while Former Finance Secretary and current BSP Monetary Board Member (MBM) Benjamin Diokno presented his perspective on the tax structure, policy and performance. Former Treasurer of the Philippines MBM Rosalia de Leon also graced us with her article on enabling high growth and stability through effective debt management, while BSP Managing Director and Former Finance Chief Economist Zeno Abenoja, explained DBCC’s role in cushioning the country from external shocks, in the article “DBCC Strikes Back: Fiscal Policy Reponses to Global Shocks.” In addition, BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. took on the task of explaining the monetary and financial policies of the country for the past 50 years. 

I am happy to note that in the article “Securing a Future-Proof Agenda for Prosperity: Establishing Reforms for the Next 50 Years of the DBCC,” I shared my perspective on the Philippine budget system, the national budget as an important tool for growth, and the budget reforms we are undertaking to ensure a future-proof and sustainable economy. 

Thus, I thank all who contributed to this legacy book, from the authors of the articles to our editorial advisers, editorial board, and the hardworking technical working group.

Beyond budget, the Philippine economy has experienced a series of growth, recessions, crises, recovery, and periods of strong expansion over the past five decades. The launch of the 50th Anniversary Legacy Book of the DBCC is a celebration of the country’s resilient economy and the contributions and collaboration of the country’s brilliant economic managers. We encourage everyone to read the book as we hope that this will serve as a reminder and provide the impetus for all to work in harmony and synergy toward economic transformation to realize our Agenda for Prosperity for our Bagong Pilipinas.


(Amenah F. Pangandaman is the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management.)