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District Conference of the Rotary International District 3800
EDSA Shangri-la Hotel

Achieving the Agenda for Prosperity  through Service Above Self

RIPR Patrick Chisanga and spouse Petronella;

District Governor Ronald “Pope” Solis and spouse Vicky;

PRID Raffy Garcia and spouse Minda;

Past district governors, district officers, Rotarians;

Distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen:

A pleasant afternoon to all.

Assalamu alaikum wa Raḥmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

I am Secretary Amenah Pangandaman of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) but my friends and colleagues call me Sec. Mina for short.

Before anything else, I would like to congratulate the Rotary District  3800 for the success of your District Conference, culminating your Rotary year.

I would also like to thank you for this opportunity to speak with very able, passionate, and young professionals who are eager to make a positive impact on our communities. It is my honor to be in the presence of esteemed Rotarians from the Resilient District—the cities of Malabon, Navotas, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and the Province of Rizal.

While you come from different backgrounds and localities, you are bound by a common purpose: to create lasting change through promoting integrity and advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace.

As the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, I truly support this mission. In fact, I have always looked up to Rotarians. Even as a graduate student of the Development Economics Program at the University of the Philippines Diliman and in my first job ever as Research Assistant of then Professor, now NEDA Secretary, Arsi Balisacan for a World Bank project, I always aspired to find ways to create a positive impact on the lives of Filipinos—just like Rotarians. 

Meanwhile, in my previous work as Chief-of-Staff to former Senate President Edgardo J. Angara, and later as DBM Undersecretary and then Assistant Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, I sought to exemplify the Rotarian motto of Service Above Self.

As a public servant of over 20 years, working in these different branches of government, in a way I have always carried this motto with me, hence always underscoring the importance of service. In fact, if you look at my Instagram page, you will see that my personal motto is “We rise by lifting others.” 

So allow me to share with you the Agenda for Prosperity that we are undertaking at the DBM which we hope will ultimately redound to the upliftment of the lives of all Filipinos. We are working very hard to establish key structural reforms that would enable sound fiscal management and promote bureaucratic efficiency in government that will propel the country’s economic performance and socioeconomic agenda towards our vision for a Bagong Pilipinas.

Sustaining the Country’s Growth Momentum

On the recent performance of the economy, the Philippines has been among the dynamically emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region with its sound macroeconomic fundamentals and fiscal discipline.

In fact, we posted a GDP growth rate of 5.6 percent in 2023, making us one of the fastest-growing economies in this dynamic region, performing better than Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Clearly, we have the momentum for growth. Even international financial institutions share this optimism, with our GDP growth matching, or even exceeding the forecasts of the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO).

2023 NG Full-Year Fiscal Performance

On the fiscal front, we are committed to restoring macro-fiscal stability through fiscal consolidation, guided by the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework—our blueprint for fiscal planning and implementing policies to achieve robust economic growth. We aim to reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio to less than 60 percent by 2025 and the deficit-to-GDP ratio to pre-pandemic levels by 2028.

For 2023, we remain on track to achieving our fiscal targets.  The Administration successfully ​registered an increase of 7.86 percent in revenue collections​, hitting Php 3.824 trillion and exceeding the government’s target by 2.55 percent​. Meanwhile, the national government’s spending performance reached Php 5.336 trillion, surpassing the 2023 spending target by 2.06 percent. Given this, the deficit-to-GDP ratio improved to 6.2 percent in 2023 from 7.3 percent in 2022. 

Socioeconomic Services under the FY 2024 National Budget

Part of ensuring sound fiscal management over the medium term is making sure that the government’s limited resources are focused on attaining the country’s development goals. Guided by our Agenda for Prosperity, the national budget shall address the most compelling needs of the Filipino people. 

Thus, for the Php 5.768 trillion national budget for FY 2024—the first budget fully prepared under the PBBM Administration—the national government prioritizes human capital development, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, and climate change adaptation and mitigation, among other equally important sectors.

This explains why a total of 67.5 percent of the budget was allocated for both social and economic services,  with the shares of essential subsectors, such as education, health, transportation accelerating the fastest among other sectors.

Recognizing the importance of infrastructure development in steering sustainable economic growth, a big chunk of the budget will go to the administration’s Build-Better-More Program, which will be strongly supported by Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). And I am happy to share that we recently signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the PPP Code, which aims to further simplify the evaluation process and create a unified system for investors to refer to when engaging in PPP projects.

However, the crafting and passage of the National Budget is only half the battle. Reforms must be instituted in the entire budget cycle—from preparation, legislation, and execution, up to monitoring, evaluation, and the accountability phase. It is only then that we can truly carry out our mission to ensure the equitable, prudent, transparent, and accountable allocation and use of public funds.

In this context, I would like to discuss with you the game-changing budget reforms that we have introduced to enhance efficiency, transparency, and public participation in the budget process.

Open Government

After two decades in public service, I can attest to you that it is indeed with citizen participation, coupled with initiatives on transparency, accountability, and digitalization, that the government can better deliver public services that have a concrete, felt, and transformative impact.

I currently chair the Philippine Open Government Partnership or the PH-OGP, the main consultation platform of the Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC) of the Cabinet that provides an avenue for interface between the government and the citizens.

Recognizing the crucial role of open government in building a more resilient democracy, we have institutionalized the PH-OGP through Executive Order No. 31, s. 2023 to ensure that open government values are embedded in policies and programs across all government agencies.

With this initiative, the Philippines was recognized as "a trailblazer in open governance not only in Asia but also within the Partnership" by no less than OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Prahdan during the OGP Global Summit in Estonia. This is proof that because of our efforts, the Philippines continues to be recognized as a global leader in the open governance space.

To further strengthen our commitment to this initiative, we also developed a more ambitious and citizen-empowered PH-OGP National Action Plan (NAP). We have likewise expanded the open governance space by conducting the OGPinas! national advocacy campaign as we introduce the 6th PH-OGP NAP and its commitments and provide an avenue for feedbacksocializing the plans of the PH-OGP for the medium term.  And as of date, we have already visited seven (7) regions, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), engaging almost a thousand Filipinos across the country.

What we do in OGP is therefore very unique and important. We put emphasis on building a high-trust society by promoting transparency, participatory, and accountability measures at all levels of the bureaucracy and in partnership with civil society.  And through the active engagement of our citizens, including you, our dear Rotarians, I am confident that we can make any initiative as strong and inclusive as it could ever be.

One of our participatory initiativeswhich I hope you could also take part inis the Support and Assistance Fund to Participatory Budgeting with Php 1.0 billion, which we launched last month, with the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The unique aspect of this program is that we will be partnering with local civil society organizations in identifying lagging municipalities to be provided with safely-managed and resilient water supply and sanitation services. 

And attesting to the diversity and strengthened collaboration between the government and the civil society, the PH-OGP Steering Committee is composed of both government and non-government members who will work together to ensure sustainability and irreversibility of successful reforms.

Gender Inclusion and Women Empowerment

Broadening its Steering Committee Membership, the PH-OGP included a seat for a women’s sector representative to ensure the integration of the perspectives and voices of women in open government initiatives. And I am proud to announce that my new counterpart for civil society, Ms. Araw Chavez, the Executive Director of MALAYA KA, was elected Co-Chair this year. Together, we will work hard for a gender-fair, inclusive, and open government.

Just last week, I headed the Philippine Delegation to the 68th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women held in New York. I reaffirmed the country’s commitment to poverty eradication, the acceleration of gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls, as reflected in our Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028 and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Plan 2019 to 2025.

Delivering the Philippine Statement during the general discussion, I underscored the country’s efforts in promoting the rights of women from different sectors and shared that the Philippines’ support for women and girls is intersectoral and all-encompassing. Thus, through collaborative efforts and targeted interventions, we are determined to break the chains of poverty and empower women and girls at all levels.

And to concretize these commitments, we will strengthen the “Women’s Budget,” also known as the Gender and Development Budget, in our General Appropriations Act. This policy directs all government departments and agencies to allocate a minimum of five percent of their total annual budgets for gender programs, projects, and activities. 

Digital Transformation

Aside from PH-OGP, digital transformation has always been one of my top priorities as Budget Secretary. Hence, we are targeting to fully digitalize our Public Financial Management (PFM) Systems, beginning with the adoption of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) across all government agencies, pursuant to Executive Order no. 29, s. 2023.

To jumpstart this initiative, the DBM, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, launched a workshop series dedicated to the development of the Philippine PFM Reforms Roadmap 2024 to 2028—a blueprint that will enable the full digitalization of PFM processes and harmonize PFM policies across agencies.

This supports our Public Financial Management Competency Program (PFMCP), which we have expanded to capacitate not only budget officers from national government agencies but also from local government units. Through this program, local PFM practitioners are provided with the necessary competencies to perform their critical role in their respective localities.

To date, the PFMCP for LGUs has already been conducted in 6 different regions with a total of 3,209 local PFM practitioners who graduated from the program since its inception in September 2023.

And for the rest of the year, we are planning to capacitate an additional 6,500 local PFM Practitioners in different provinces through 9 more PFMCP-LGU sessions.

Still towards digital transformation, we will launch a Digital Budget Management Roadmap which we will be implementing in a phased manner starting with Project TINA or the Technical Innovations in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) Application Project which aims to create a unified system that will automate the budget process and boost operational efficiency. This shall be complemented with Project Marissa, which utilizes blockchain technology to enhance the management of critical data such as allotment release orders and other DBM records in public finances. 

And I am also very proud of the revival of Project DIME or the Digital Information for Monitoring and Evaluation Project, which shall use existing technologies such as satellites, drones, and geotagging to monitor infrastructure projects while encouraging citizen feedback.

Procurement Reforms

All of these efforts are also part of our commitment to ensuring better and more strategic planning, and improving our budget preparation and execution process so that we can address the perennial challenge of underspending or the difference between programmed disbursements and actual disbursements.

And because procurement is a major bottleneck to efficient government spending, I am happy to announce that we are getting closer to having a new Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), which aims to promote spending efficiency by adhering to global standards in procurement. Part of this mission is to leverage digitalization and establish an electronic Marketplace or e-Marketplace—an online platform where agencies may directly procure supplies and equipment from competent and reputable suppliers. With the new GPRA, we can all look forward to a procurement system that is more attuned to the changing times.

We will also champion sustainability with green public procurement by encouraging agencies to procure common-use supplies and equipment items with green specifications. And in line with our commitment to open governance, we will introduce a participatory procurement process where members of the non-government sector will serve as observers during procurement proceedings.

Supporting Peace and Development in BARMM

As a proud daughter of Mindanao and the only Muslim woman in the cabinet of PBBM, it is my dream to see a BARMM that is thriving and a Mindanao that shines as a land of promise. Hence, I am extremely committed to developing BARMM as an empowered, cohesive, and progressive region in the country.

The Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB), an intergovernmental body that deals with the relations of the Bangsamoro regional government and the Philippine national government, which I co-chair with Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal, has successfully convened all IGR mechanisms needed to complete BARMM’s transition in less than two years. And I’m happy to share that our harmonious working relations across all IGR mechanisms have resulted in public-oriented decisions which we hope to have lasting benefits for both governments.

In fact, our strong collaboration has led to a fruitful partnership with the Japanese Government. Last November, we signed and exchanged Diplomatic Notes on the Non-Project Grant Aid for the acquisition of USD 6.8 million worth of construction equipment for road network improvement and disaster quick response operations in BARMM.

And last January 22, the first BSP-licensed Islamic Bank—the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Bank—opened in BARMM to serve the unbanked and underbanked population by offering a wide range of financial products and services aligned with the Shari’ah principles.

We are, of course, grateful to the President for his full support in achieving economic transformation for BARMM. So allow me to share his beautiful message during the 17th IGRB Meeting held last February here in Manila: "Bagong Pilipinas is incomplete without a Bagong Bangsamoro rising along and within it."


As you can see, while I am Budget Secretary, we are doing much more than just crunching numbers for the National Expenditure Program. That is because I believe in having a whole-of- government approach to achieving our vision for the nation.

In fact, beyond using a whole-of-government approach, we should have a whole-of-nation approach. And this is where the Rotary International District 3800 can come in.  We need strong support and participation from the private sector, including our dear Rotary members who believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our most persistent challenges.

So allow me to take this opportunity to call on each of you to be our partners in pursuing our Agenda for Prosperity as we march on toward Bagong Pilipinas—a Philippines of new and better opportunities—with an inclusive, future-proof, and sustainable economy where no Filipino is left behind.

Together, let us pursue sustainable, far-reaching, and meaningful socio-civic projects that uplift the lives of our fellow Filipinos. Rest assured that the DBM—and the Philippine government—are one with you in the realization of your vision. Together, let us achieve our shared dreams for our nation.

Mabuhay ang Rotary District 3800! Mabuhay ang DBM! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.

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