Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File photo)

MANILA – The efficient and sound utilization of public funds will help the Marcos administration meet its development objectives and goal of reducing poverty, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Wednesday.

Pangandaman made the statement during the Public Financial Management (PFM) learning session for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Committee on Finance, Budget, and Management Parliament Members at the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig City.

"As we all know, a sound PMF is fundamental to meeting development objectives in reducing poverty which are the desired outcomes of both the Bangsamoro and the national governments," Pangandaman, a Maranao leader, said in a keynote speech.

Pangandaman also stressed the importance of the Department of Budget and Management's (DBM) collaboration with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to formulate and implement a "dynamic" fiscal policy that will help improve the lives of the Bangsamoro people.

This, as she reiterated that her “personal dream” is to ensure that BARMM is “thriving” and Mindanao “shines as the land of promise.”

Pangandaman said the Public Financial Management Competency Program’s (PFMCP) objective is aligned with the national government’s goal of ensuring “effective and efficient” delivery of public services by enhancing the technical skills and competencies of the country’s public financial managers.

“The PFMCP aims to enhance the technical skills and competencies of our public financial managers on planning, directing, and controlling financial resources towards the effective and efficient delivery of public services,” she said.

“This time, the goal of our PFMCP is to enhance the current public financial management practices in the [BARMM] region while undergoing the transition,” Pangandaman added, noting that the Philippines and BARMM can grow together as “two governments working in support of each other towards a common goal [of providing] better living conditions for every Filipino.”

The PFMCP covers core PFM competencies, budgeting and performance, procurement, accounting, auditing, and cash management, to boost the practitioners' job performance and support their career growth.

The event was attended by top-caliber subject matter experts who demonstrated PFM fundamentals relative to local revenue policies and procedures, such as the principles of local taxation and fiscal sustainability, budget legislation, local government fiscal management, staffing and organization, and the budget process including the Cash Budgeting System.

Among those present were newly-appointed Bangsamoro Parliament members, including BTA Parliament Speaker Pangalian Balindong, JICA Senior Representative Ebisawa Yo and representative Yukiko Sano, and other DBM officials.

“Through all of these, we hope we can equip you, our PFM practitioners from the Parliament here today, with the knowledge and skills that will enable you to develop and implement effective laws and decisions for the Bangsamoro people,” Pangandaman said.

She also ensured that her office would pursue initiative reforms, such as the issuance of an executive order that will institutionalize the operations of the Philippines’ Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP).

The OGP, co-founded by the Philippines in 2011, is a multilateral organization of reformers from government, civil society networks, businesses, and non-profits reflective of the values of access to information, public accountability, citizen participation, and leveraging technology and innovation to strengthen governance.

Pangandaman expressed confidence that the learning session would inspire participants to become PFM practitioners “who are accountable to the people and each other, who embrace innovations through digital transformation, who act with integrity at all times, [and] who recognize that government exists for and because of the people.”

“We need all of you in order to carry out our agenda for economic prosperity that truly ensures inclusivity, one where no Filipino would be left behind, the Bangsamoro people included,” she said. (PNA)