Flag Ceremony Speech in Malacanang Palace

Posted on August 8, 2016

(Malacañang Palace, Manila, 8 August 2016)

Co-workers in government, Good Morning!

Today is the start of a brand new week, another chance for us to serve the people and our nation. Let’s learn from whatever oversignts, mistakes or shortcomings we’ve done in the past weeks, and resolve to do better this time.

Next Monday, August 15, President Duterte will submit to the Congress his first national budget. Given the limited time, we crafted a budget that will truly reflect President Duterte’s vision for a just, humane, peaceful and prosperious society. It embodies his dreams and aspirations for all Filipinos – rich and poor, old and young, educated and uneducated, from urban centers or rural communities.

We hope that we have prepared the budget well so that his first budget will bring momentum to start on the projects and reforms that would fulfill the Filipinos’ dream for our country – whether that be fixing the crumbling infrastructures, easing the
Filipino’s tax burdens, proportionately increasing the pay salary government workers, guaranteeing peace and order, and putting more attention to renewable energy and climate change issues.

We, in the Department of Budget and Management, have scrutinized the budget proposals of heads of departments, agencies, and government corporations, and made sure that we have given them the proper budget that they can handle. This way, people can expect that projects are successfully implemented. This way, wastage due to project delays will be reduced, if not totally eliminated.
The Duterte administration will have zero tolerance for corruption. Hence, we will make sure that every peso would go to is intended purpose and beneficiaries.

Admittedly, the 2017 national budget is not a perfect document. But I can assure you that it is much better than the original proposal that we’ve seen when we took over. Moreover, I promise that future budgets will be even better.
After the submission of the 2017 President’s budget to Congress, our next focus is the Budget Reform Act. This bill will incorporate some features of the Executive Order on Freedom of Information. I know that the previous administration had initiatives to make the budget transparent; we intend to improve on these initiatives and institutionalize these initiatives by working for the passage of the Budget Reform Act.
This way, the budget reforms become irreversible. The intent is make future presidents comply with the Supreme Court decisions on PDAF and DAP.

Another challenge for us is how to make the budget process truly transparent or open. The ordinary Filipino should be able to understand how much and where their taxes go. But just uploading tons of information on the website does not make the process truly open. Openness means that the ordinary man on the street understands the budget, that the budget be explained in a way that the ordinary man understrands. It also means that the citizens should be able to ask relevant data from any government agency and that agency is bound to provide them.

For now, these are our focus. But I know there is still so much to be done to help our President deliver the real change that he promised.
Rest assured, that the men and women of the DBM will do their best so that all the policies and decisions of the department will be for the welfare of the Filipino people. We will always be reminded of the thought that we are at our respective positions not as a matter of right, that we are just passing through, and that we are here to serve the Filipino people to the best of our ability.
Finally, having served under many presidents, let me say this: the success of any President depends not only on his competence, his hard work, his compassion for his fellowmen, and his political will. It depends, too, on the cooperation, hard work, and strong sense of public service by the entire civil service.

We’re lucky that we have a President who is committed to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, who’s willing to be the President of many, rather than a few, Filipinos.
For his sake and our own sake, let us all support him and wholeheartedly embrace him.
Maraming salamat po at magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.