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Closing Remarks 
10th M&E Network Forum 
Seda Vertis North 
Speaking time: 7 minutes
10th M&E


To NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Undersecretary Joseph J. Capuno of the Investment Programming Group, our stakeholders in “Charting the Path Forward through Partnerships in M&E,” and all our participants in today’s forum, good afternoon. 

Assalamu alaikum wa Raḥmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

First, I would like to congratulate the National Economic and Development Authority for the success of the 10th Monitoring and Evaluation or M&E Network Forum. Thank you for providing a venue to showcase the country’s M&E initiatives and for cultivating a community of practice on M&E for the past decade. 

I am glad to note that for this year, our plenary and breakout sessions were able to showcase our current efforts towards further strengthening M&E responsive to the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. 

As you may already know, the proposed national budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024—the first budget fully prepared under the Administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.—continues to pursue our Agenda for Prosperity, this time securing a future-proof and sustainable economy. It will continue to lay the groundwork for the realization of our country’s economic goals identified in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, and the PDP. 

And we are relentlessly working for the passage of this budget amounting to Php 5.768 trillion, or equivalent to 21.7 percent of our GDP, and an increase of 9.5 percent from  this year’s level . I am happy to share that we are in the last stretch prior to the signing of our General Appropriations Act as the Senate already passed their version of the General Appropriations Bill last night. 

But our work does not end here. In fact, this is just the beginning. What follows is the year-roundbudget execution and most importantly, the accountability phase of the budget cycle wherein agencies must set up and implement M&E mechanisms to ascertain the effectiveness of the programs and projects on which they spend. 

Agencies likewise submit regular Financial Accountability Reports, as required by the DBM and the Commission on Audit. We then review the financial and physical performance of agencies against their targets to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of programs and closely monitor agencies’ performances. This is crucial so we can address bottlenecks proactively. 

And this is exactly what we did when we issued Circular Letter No. 2023-10 last August, wherein we required all government agencies to submit “catch-up plans” to facilitate budget execution for the rest of FY 2023. Through this issuance, we also tried to ascertain the underlying causes or reasons for underperformance and undertake measures to address them. 

Thankfully, National Government disbursement accelerated significantly from 93.4 percent of the program as of June 2023 to 98.9 percent as of September. This was mainly driven by the robust disbursement in the third quarter, reaching Php 3.82 trillion as of the end of September. DBM has also already released roughly 97.2 percent of our 2023 National Budget as of the end of September, while our Government Final Consumption Expenditure accelerated to 6.7 percent in the third quarter of this year.

And, I am very happy to note that all these contributed to our economy achieving a 5.9 percent growth for the third quarter of this year, significantly up from 4.3 percent in the second quarter as we pushed for greater efficiency in budget utilization through a whole-of-government approach.

Another crucial aspect of the budget accountability phase is citizen participation. To ensure transparency, DBM ensures the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of key budget documents including the People’s Budget series–the less technical yet comprehensive version of the government’s proposed and enacted national budgets.

We also ensure that citizens are able to participate in the monitoring of programs and projects through the Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) which was recently institutionalized through Executive Order No. 31, s. 2023. This aims to ensure that the open government values of transparency, civic participation, accountability, and technological innovation are embedded in government policies and programs. And to further expand the open government space, we have successfully launched the OGPinas! National Advocacy Campaign, engaging hundreds of Filipinos around the country in pursuit of strengthening public participation in governance. We just conducted its final leg for this year last week in Davao City. 

As you can see, monitoring and evaluation and people’s participation are crucial in ensuring that every budget allocation, decision, and program implementation will benefit the Filipino people. And so we are grateful for M&E platforms such as this forum. 

Again, congratulations to NEDA and our M&E partners and stakeholders! Rest assured that the DBM is one with you as you build the competence of individuals and institutions in the creation and use of M&E in the public sector, and as you consolidate the efforts of communities on M&E, all towards the achievement of our Agenda for Prosperity. 

Thank you very much. Wabillahi Tawfiq Wal Hidaya, Wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.