Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File photo)

MANILA – Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has emphasized the need to develop the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) financial management system to promote government transparency, accountability, and efficiency.

Pangandaman reiterated her plan to maximize the use of technology to improve the DBM's Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS).

Pangandaman, in a recent interview with SMNI, said one of the DBM’s major projects is to introduce reforms to the BTMS to enhance bureaucratic efficiency and transparency in the budgetary process.

“We really want to maximize the use of technology for our reporting system. Ngayon kasi medyo manu-mano (To date, we still have to implement it manually). I think it’s about time for us to have something that is transparent to everyone. Like when you see it on our website, it’s on time, and then, you’ll be able to analyze more efficiently and quickly,” she said.

She also vowed to give the public easy access to the government's financial reports.

“The fund, the money that we allocate for our people, pera n’yo ‘yan e. Pera ‘yan ng taong bayan. Galing ‘yan sa buwis na binabayad natin (that's their money. The public funds come from the taxes we are paying). So as much as possible, I want sana for people to see na ‘yung mga binabayad nila na buwis, they also see kung ano at saang proyekto o programa ginagamit ng gobyerno (how their taxes are being used for government projects and programs),” she said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Oct. 26 said the country’s digital transformation will enable the government to provide “fast, transparent, and efficient” services to the Filipino people.

In October, Pangandaman also said digitizing government services will help the Marcos administration achieve its agenda for bureaucratic efficiency and economic prosperity.

The DBM’s BTMS, launched in 2019, serves as an integrated and fully-automated platform for a sustainable Government Resource Planning (GRP) solution that is extensible, flexible and adaptable to reforms.

Before the BTMS launch, the government used to process financial transactions manually and use numerous stand-alone systems to generate financial information, resulting in lack of budget credibility and funding predictability, weak cash management system, and absence of a common budgetary and accounting classification.

As a centralized database, the BTMS will facilitate the generation of vital information on government financial transactions; enable real-time mapping of transactions, from purchase to payment; and allow expedient and accurate financial management, improved data governance, and enhanced oversight control.

The key objective of the BTMS is to achieve the future state of public financial management, where all spending agencies would capture government transactions at source using the BTMS as the sole accounting and fiscal reporting system.

The World Bank has noted that the Philippines’ public financial management would be more efficient with the existence of an integrated financial management system that will provide a more accurate view of the government’s financial performance and management of public funds. (PNA)