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DBM Flag Raising Ceremony 

Soar High 2024


To my dearest colleagues and fellow public servants here at the Department of Budget and Management, magandang umaga po at isang masayang Fiscal New Year sa ating lahat! 

Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Nagagalak po akong makita at makapiling kayo, mga kapwa ko kawani at lingkod-bayani, ngayong simula ng taon. 

Just a few weeks ago, on December 20, 2023, President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. signed the FY 2024 National Budget into law. The swift passage of this budget is a testament to our commitment and dedication to carrying out our mission—to ensure the equitable, prudent, transparent, and accountable allocation and use of public funds. Again, thank you for your hard work which led us to this milestone. Isa pong karangalan na maka-trabaho kayong lahat. 

Now, as we start the new year, we are given a brand-new opportunity to serve the Filipino people more efficiently and effectively. In a few weeks, we will kick off the budget preparation season for FY 2025 through our budget fora—eto na naman tayo! 

Sa paggawa po natin ng FY 2025 NEP, bigyang-diin po natin ang sinabi ng ating pangulo  noong signing ng 2024 GAA: to honor the taxpayers who make all of these possible. 

First of all, we will ensure better and strategic planning for a more effective and efficient national budget. We will strive to improve our processes on budget preparation and execution. Titignan at susuriin po natin ang budget utilization ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno. Nagamit ba ang budget nang maayos para sa taongbayan at para sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bansa? As you all know, one of our major challenges for the past years has always been underspending. Thankfully, national government disbursement accelerated significantly in the latter half of 2023 following our directive for agencies to submit their spending catch-up plans. This year, more than submitting the plans, we need to make sure that there is real improvement in our budget utilization.

Second, in line with our management function, we need to improve bureaucratic efficiency through institutional reforms. Hence, we will continue to push for the passage into law of the National Government Rightsizing Program or the NGRP. The Bill was approved on final reading by the House of Representatives on March 14, 2023, while the Administration’s version of the bill was sponsored by Senator Joel Villanueva on December 5, 2023. Remember, the goal is not laying off nor downsizing, but upgrading the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate while ensuring optimal and efficient use of resources. 

Speaking of institutional capacity, we will also improve both budget utilization and bureaucratic efficiency through our Public Financial Management Competency Program (PFMCP) which—I am proud to share—has already empowered more than 3,000 PFM practitioners from all over the country. In 2023, we brought our PFMCP around the country to empower LGUs following the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court ruling and even to BARMM to help them formulate and implement a dynamic fiscal policy towards the upliftment of the lives of the Bangsamoro. In the medium term, we also hope that our vision of a PFM Institute will come to fruition. This year, we will visit more regions and provinces to support the PFMCP, and also because it is through these visits that we  really see what is happening on the ground. 

Still towards bureaucratic efficiency, we have also ramped up our digital transformation, resulting in the full adoption of the Integrated Financial Management Information System through Executive Order No. 29 wherein PFM processes will be digitalized, with the Budget and Treasury Management System serving as a centralized database for all government financial operations. 

We also launched Project TINA, or the Technical Innovations for the NEP Application, which will replace our existing NEP generation tool with elevated functionality and user experience. We likewise kicked off Project DIME or the Digital Information for Monitoring and Evaluation Project which will use modern technology such as satellites, drones, and geotagging to monitor and evaluate major government projects, especially those related to infrastructure.

Now, we are also getting closer to having a new Government Procurement Reform Act, with the approval of House Bill No. 9648 by the House of Representatives last December 12, 2023. We can all look forward to a procurement system that is more attuned to the changing times. We will even have an e-marketplace for common use supplies under the Procurement Service. And we will release a publication commemorating PS-DBM’s journey over the past 45 years. Abangan n’yo yan.

We will also continue to fulfill our commitments under the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Last year, we were able to showcase all our structural reforms at the 2023 OGP Global Summit held in Tallinn, Estonia. I am most proud that we became one of the pioneers, if not the first, country to institutionalize the Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) through Executive Order No. 31. We have also successfully submitted the 6th PH-OGP National Action Plan, our first-ever medium-term action plan on open government. And we have also successfully launched the OGPinas!, a National Advocacy Campaign, engaging hundreds of Filipinos from all over the country to strengthen public participation in governance. This 2024, we will make this campaign even louder as we try to reach more people and encourage even greater public participation. We will also document the development of the PH-OGP since its inception 12 years ago.  

Finally, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), which we chair, will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that we remain on track with our Agenda for Prosperity towards economic transformation where no one is left behind including the future generations. You may also look forward to the publication commemorating the 50th anniversary of the DBCC and how it steered the economy over the past decades. 

Ang dami nating nagawa nitong 2023. I am so proud of you all. Saludo po ako sa inyong lahat.

And I know we will all soar even higher this 2024. Inshallah.

And who knows baka pati bonus mag-soar higher ng 2024. 

Happy New Year, DBM! Marami tayong trabahong hinaharap. Pero huwag po tayong mapapagod sa ating paglingkod sa ating bayan. 

Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

Wabillahi Tawfiq Wal Hidaya, Wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.