Gov't prepares for 2012 budget

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2011 09:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2011 09:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines -  This early, the Budget Department is already preparing for the 2012 budget to address corruption and promote transparency.

In a statement on Friday, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the early "first budget call" to different government agencies is part of efforts to ensure that the bureaucracy is in line with the Aquino government's transparency thrusts.

Abad said that government agencies must now submit a budget that enables the people to inspect each and every detail of how they intend to spend their budget.

"For this reason, we will gradually move away from the often-shadowy practice of lump sum budgeting," Abad said.

"We started the process of preparing the 2012 National Budget early. This should give ample time to all departments and agencies to flesh-out their proposed budgets into programs and projects to be funded, location of projects and amounts allocated," he added.

According to item 4.1 (General Procedures) of the 2012 National Budget Call, "For the furtherance of transparency, lump sum funds within agency proposals as a policy will not be allowed in the FY (fiscal year) 2012 Budget."

Abad explained that the no-lump-sum policy will also allow agencies to measure outcomes of their spending.

The "first budget call" fleshes-out the budget preparation framework and process, including the budget preparation calendar. A "second budget call" to be issued next month will set the indicative budget ceilings and macroeconomic assumptions.

During the Arroyo administration, the first budget call usually occurs around May.

The P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011 was fastracked to make it the deadline last year lapsed.

Abad had said that their new budget calendar targets to submit the 2012 spending bill a day after President Benigno Aquino delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.