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Thumbnail  In its first two years in office, the Duterte administration has authorized the creation of nearly 235,000 government positions in the civil service and the military.             192,684 civilian positions and around 42,020 positions for military and uniformed personnel were created from July 2016 to December 2018, totaling 234,704.   34,822; 90,655; and 109,217 of these positions were created in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.   *Note: Number of existing positions is not equal to total authorized positions of the previous year because of other staffing actions (e.g. abolition, reclassification, conversion, etc.)   A huge bulk of the civilian positions created during President Duterte’s term thus far are accounted for by the education sector with 158,123 created for by the Department of Education (DepEd), the largest agency of the government, and 10,554 positions provided to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).   Next in the ranking of National Government Agencies (NGAs) with the most newly-created civilian positions is the Department of Health with 7,011 positions.             The Regional Government of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) also continues to expand with the authorization of...
Thumbnail Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno today vehemently objected to the accusations of Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr published in the news that “contractors have already paid ‘commissions’ or ‘cash advances’ for P75 billion-worth of infrastructure projects included in the 2019 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).” Not Part of DBM Process Diokno emphasized that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is only in charge of crafting and overseeing the budget process. “The DBM is not concerned with program and project implementation by agencies. It is not concerned with contractors. Nor is the DBM involved in the bidding process and awarding of contracts,” Diokno said.   Diokno added that the conduct of early procurement activities before the start of the Budget year was introduced to ensure the efficient and timely implementation of projects and the DBM has even sought to institutionalize early procurement as a best practice to meet global standards in government efficiency, as is the practice in many developed countries. Early Procurement Started Under Andaya Diokno also explained that the conduct of early procurement activities, short of award, is not new. It has been...
With the agriculture sector having only grown at a rate of 0.8% in 2018, the Duterte administration’s economic managers, including Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, are exploring measures to enhance farm productivity.   “Had the agriculture sector grown at its potential of 4% in 2018, full-year economic growth would have reached 6.5%, equal to the low-end of our revised growth target last year,” said the Budget Secretary. “Looking at 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by industrial origin, the agriculture sector contributed a measly 0.1 percentage point to the full-year growth rate of 6.2%. Simply put, the farm sector had virtually zero contribution to economic growth last year,” Diokno added.   “It’s for these reasons that the Duterte administration is prioritizing the agriculture sector. For our farmers and fisherfolk in the rural areas, higher productivity will mean higher incomes. At the same time, for consumers, this means lower prices for staple food items like rice, vegetables, fish, and meat,” Diokno elaborated.   Table 1:2018 GDP Growth, Contribution by Industrial Origin (in ppts) Agriculture Sector: Historically Low and Erratic Growth Historically...
Thumbnail “This is unnecessary speculation,” Secretary Diokno said, in response to remarks from Congressman Rolando Andaya suggesting that 75-billion worth of funds would be restored to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through the President’s veto message after having already been realigned by Congress to other projects.   “The President can veto particular line items in the budget, but he cannot introduce new items or bring back items that have already been deleted by Congress,” Secretary Diokno explained.   “Congress should respect the President’s constitutional power to veto. It is improper for a legislator to interfere with the President’s constitutional power, or to encourage such wild speculation around it.” Secretary Diokno added.   Article VI, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution affords the President the power to exercise line-item veto in an appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill. However, Congress may reconsider the president's veto by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the house.   “Congress has done their job. They should let [the executive] do ours. If they are not happy with the President’s veto message, they may still override it through a vote. That is the...
Thumbnail Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management gave his lecture on the Economics of Government Defense Spending at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday. The budget chief discussed the Philippine economy in relation with the rest of the world and the importance of national security. “You cannot have people engage in vibrant economic activity with armed conflict happening at the same time and place. That is not possible… This is why national security is very much intertwined with socio-economic development.” he stressed. Secretary Diokno also discussed defense spending in the proposed 2019 National Budget, highlighting the targets that defense programs have to meet. “The Philippine government has allocated and spent billions on the enhancement of the country’s defense capability over the years. The Duterte administration will sustain this commitment by allocating PhP 188.2 billion to the defense sector for 2019” in order to maintain and expand the country’s defense capabilities against foreign and domestic threats. The revised AFP modernization program, and adjusted compensation and rice subsidy for Military and Uniformed Personnel were also discussed by the...
Thumbnail BUDGET SECRETARY BEN DIOKNO sought a reset of the hearing scheduled Friday morning ordered by a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives (HoR) Appropriations Committee only on Thursday morning on issues over the national budget by citing violations of the House rules governing inquiries in aid of legislation. In a letter to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, while assuring Congress of cooperation, Diokno invoked the right of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officials and staff to proper notice and a fair and just hearing. The Subpoena Ad Testificandum signed by House Speaker Arroyo and  Committee on Appropriations chair Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr, was received by the DBM 11 am, Thursday morning with the hearing scheduled the next day, Friday at 10 am., Diokno said. While Diokno welcomed the subpoena from the HOR to clarify “issues regarding the 2019 budget, clearly there was no proper notice and not enough time to allow him and other DBM officials and staff to adequately prepare for the HoR hearing. Diokno also invoked HoR rules and specifically cited Section 8 (3) of the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation of the House of Representatives,...
Earlier this week, Cong. Andaya alleged that PhP 50 Billion worth of public funds remain idle in the Procurement Service (PS) and Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) due to the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Procurement Law.   The IRR was revised prior to the Duterte administration by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) but was only approved in 2016, under the chairmanship of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.   PS explained that “the PhP 17.4 Billion worth of funds is a cumulative amount from many years back, due to the lack of proper technical documentation from source agencies which delays the bidding process. This figure is not at all attributable to the revision of the procurement IRR during the start of the Duterte administration.”   Funds of about P17.4 B currently in PS as of end-2018 are accumulation of agency cash transfers prior to 2016.  The following data show that PS is on a negative cash flow every year since 2016:     This decreasing cash flow trend implies that less funds remain with the PS, as more projects are now being bidded out, and subsequently implemented by their respective implementing government agencies. This is...

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