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The Philippines has cemented its position as a global leader in budget transparency, oversight, and public participation in the budget process in Southeast Asia based on the recently published 2023 Open Budget Survey (OBS) results. 

The Philippines climbed 7 points in the OBS for transparency, garnering an open budget index score of 75 out of 100. This is a marked improvement from the score of 68 in 2021, beating the government’s target score of 71 under the Philippine Development Plan 2023 - 2028.  

This secured the top spot for budget transparency for the Philippines, making it the most fiscally transparent country not just in Southeast Asia, but in the whole of Asia. It also ranked 15th place worldwide, significantly exceeding the global average score of 45. 

This is the result of the timely and comprehensive publication by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) of all key budget documents, including the pre-budget statement, proposed and enacted budget, in-year and mid-year reports, and the People’s Budget series. This is in line with the commitment of the DBM to having an open government and ensuring accessibility of budget documents to the public.  

The People’s Budget series, created by the DBM in compliance with its open budget commitments, provides a simpler and less technical version of the key budget documents. This received a document content score of 92 out of 100. It is the most comprehensive among key Philippine budget documents and significantly contributes to the country’s strong performance. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines obtained the 6th spot in the world for budget oversight with a composite score of 83 out of 100, next to Norway, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Brazil, and Georgia. This shows that the Legislature and the Commission on Audit, together, provide adequate oversight during the budget process.  

In the same survey, the country also maintained its lead in Southeast Asia for Public Participation and ranked 13th worldwide, with a score of 33 out of 100, which is significantly higher than the global average score of 15.  

“This is very welcome news, especially as we are also celebrating this year’s Open Gov Week and solid proof that the Administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. works for and with the people to promote good governance in the country. Rest assured that the DBM will continue its best practices in ensuring a transparent, participatory, and accountable People’s Budget,” Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said. 

The OBS is the world’s only independent, comparative, and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions, such as legislatures and national audit offices, in the budget process. 

Access the results here: