Bukidnon solon leads call for budget reform
Senator TG Guingona today convened the Open Budget Partnership (OBP) Forum on Public Revenues in what he described as another step towards the “crusade for a transparent, accountable and participatory budget process.”
Guingona conducted the forum in collaboration with Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, leaders and members of the academe and the civil society organizations (CSOs).
Guingona recalled that the OBP was “created in November 2010 to create dialogue opportunities between the executive and legislative agencies of government with civil society organizations to enhance transparency and accountability of the national budget process.” The first forum was on the National Expenditure Plan, where key budget issues were discussed and opened the way towards possible CSO participation in the budget process.
Guingona emphasized that the Forum on Pubic Revenues was convened “because the revenue performance of government is found to considerably affect the likelihood of achieving the objectives of the national budget in delivering quality services to the poor.”
Guingona said that the objective of the Forum was “to inform the public about the structure of revenues of the national government, fiscal plans and targets of the Aquino Administration, and factors that may affect revenue performance and expenditure performance of the national government.”
Purisima, meanwhile, provided a broad presentation on the fiscal policies of the national government and explained how these plans and policies enable the achievement of a pro-poor budget.
BIR Commissioner Jacinto-Henares presented information on the strategies of the BIR for meeting its revenue targets, and the reform plans for the agencies while BOC Commissioner Alvarez presented the strategies of the BOC for meeting its revenue targets and reforms in the agency.
Several members of the academe and the CSOs suggested strategies that the government needs to prioritize in raising key issues.
Guingona said “the participation of the top revenue agencies in the country and the members of the CSOs and the academe highlighted the desire of the public to bring good governance in the revenue process as well.”