Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (Photo from DBM's official Facebook page)

MANILA – Digitalizing the services of state departments and offices will help the Marcos administration achieve its agenda for bureaucratic efficiency and economic prosperity, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

Pangandaman made the remark, as she thanked the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines (AGAP) Inc. for tapping her as a keynote speaker in its four-day annual national convention seminar.

In a Facebook post late Thursday night, Pangandaman thanked AGAP for holding the annual seminar which served as a platform for government accountants and financial managers to discuss updates and key strategies to keep up with "fast-changing times."

"With its more than 50 years of service as an institution, AGAP has thrived through the many changes in our society," Pangandaman said, emphasizing the organization's crucial role in promoting bureaucratic efficiency and sound fiscal management.

"Let’s continue to work together so that our digitalization efforts will not only translate to bureaucratic efficiency, but ultimately, to achieving our agenda for economic prosperity—one that is felt by every Filipino whom we are all sworn to serve with commitment and integrity," she added.

AGAP Inc. is an organization of public servants performing accounting, budgeting, auditing, cashiering, and other allied financial functions from the national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

It only has six founding members in 1950 until it grows as an organization with over 10,000 members from NGAs, LGUs and GOCCs.

In a keynote speech delivered Wednesday in Baguio City, Pangandaman reiterated the Department of Budget and Management's (DBM) commitment to digitalize government processes, records and databases through e-governance.

“In support of the Administration’s thrust for a lean, efficient, and responsive government workforce, the fiscal year 2023 proposed national budget will facilitate the transformation and digitalization of the government to streamline the bureaucracy,” Pangandaman said, as quoted by the DBM in a press release issued Friday.

Pangandaman also acknowledged the critical role of accounting in DBM’s interrelated public financial management functions, along with budgeting, auditing, cash management, procurement, revenue generation, and public reporting on public sector financial operations.

“While the economic managers and their respective institutions are hard at work towards this end, this would not be possible without your help—our dear accountants and government financial managers, and the whole of AGAP Inc. who help carry out our pursuit of bureaucratic efficiency and sound fiscal management,” she said.

The shift to e-governance, Pangandaman said, is vital in realizing the government's bid to give Filipinos a comfortable life.

Pangdanaman noted that around PHP12.47 billion of the proposed 2023 national budget would be earmarked for information and communications technology (ICT) and digitalization programs and projects, the DBM said on Friday.

Around PHP3.56 billion of the proposed PHP12.47 billion would go to the Department of Finance for the improvement of revenue collection through digitalization, the DBM said.

The DBM added that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) would receive around PHP4.72 billion for its ICT Systems and Infrastructure Development, Management and Advisory Program.

The program, the DBM said, includes funding for the implementation of the National Government Data Center Infrastructure and the National Government Portal to connect government departments and improve its accessibility.

In his first State of the Nation Address delivered on July 25, President Ferdinand R. Marcos urged Congress to pass the proposed E-Governance Act, which promote the use of internet, intranet and other ICT to provide opportunities for citizens. (PNA)