Philippines jumps to 2nd place on budget process in Asia (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines jumped 16 places to lead South East Asia and become second in the Asian region to have the most participative, open and transparent budget process, according to the biennial Open Budget Survey released yesterday.

The country scored 64 out of 100 in the latest survey, up from 48 in 2012, and putting it at 21st place out of 105 nations included in the report. South Korea is the only Asian nation ahead of the Philippines at 17th place.

“On average, governments are not providing sufficient information to allow for meaningful understanding and analysis of the budget,” the report said.

“However, these latest results reveal budget transparency has improved between 2012 and 2015 with considerable advances in a number of previously low-performing countries,” it added.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, in a statement, acknowledged the “challenging” nature of “reforming the budget” to become more transparent and participative under the Aquino administration.

“The independent nature of the survey and the thoroughness of its methodology make the OBS (open budget survey) a highly credible standard for budget transparency Transparent, accountable, and participatory budgetingshould be celebrated and encouraged,” Abad said.

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Under the survey, budget transparency is measured through the publication of eight reports tackling yearly allocations. These are the pre-budget statement, executive’s budget proposal, enacted budget, citizens budget, in-year reports, mid-year review, year-end and audit reports.