Mr. President, esteemed colleagues:
Noon pong isang taon, inaprubahan ng Kongreso ang pinakamalaking budget sa kasaysayan na umabot sa 3.8 trilyong piso para sa kasalukuyang taon, 2018.
Sa patuloy na paglaki at paglawak ng operasyon ng ating pamahalaan, lalo na sa mga proyektong pang-imprastruktura at mga serbisyong panlipunan, nangangailangan po tayo ng modernong pamamaraan sa pagba-budget – mula sa pagpaplano, pag-abruba ng Kongreso, pagpapatupad nito at higit sa lahat, pananagutan sa paggasta.
The proposed “Budget Reform Bill” or Senate Bill No. 1761 prepared by the Committee on Finance and authored by Senator Loren Legarda, together with this representation, will strengthen the government’s accountability for its use of the People’s Budget.
During the budget hearings last year, we were shocked to know that a sizeable portion of each year’s funding among several government agencies remained unobligated and unexpended. Since the budgetary practice is to allow appropriations and obligations until the next fiscal year, extending the validity of funds to two years, the budget utilization on the part of line agencies has been very slow, Mr. President.
Sa ganitong kalakaran, ang pondo ng mamamayang ipinagkatiwala sa ating mga ahensya, tila ipinagkakait po natin sa kanila.
Hence, the budget reform bill seeks to institutionalize the shift from a multi-year obligation budget to an annual cash-based budget to promote, primarily, the disciplined execution of the budget. To make this a reality, the bill allows early procurement activities to speed up project implementation for line agencies.
That's why at this juncture, we would like to thank the DBM family for pushing for this measure.
Bibigyang daan din po ng panukalang batas ang paggamit ng makabagong teknolohiya, tulad ng Integrated Financial Management Information System para magbigay ng real-time na mga impormasyon at datos tungkol sa budget at pondo ng bayan. Paiigtingin din ang people’s access to public financial information at titiyakin ang partisipasyon ng taumbayan sa budget process.
The bill will also strengthen Congress’ power of the purse by making sure that all expenditures must be approved by Congress and to enable Congress to review and approve proposed appropriations against clearly defined performance information and actual reported performance.
Now, more than ever, we need to ensure accountability and integrity in the use of public resources by ensuring fiscal responsibility, transparency and effectiveness in the entire budget process.
Pagdating sa pondo ng bayan, Ginoong Pangulo, naniniwala po tayo sa isang matibay na prinsipyo: “Ang pondo ng bayan, dapat ibalik sa bayan.”
Let us pass this landmark legislation to improve the ability of the government to deliver better services to the people, make sure our economy works for every Filipino and keep our country moving forward.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. May God bless us all.