Cuts in govt workforce seen with budget reforms

Published by rudy Date posted on January 25, 2012

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III wants government departments and agencies to include workforce cuts in their budget proposals for 2013 to improve spending efficiency next year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Tuesday.

Departments and agencies were also being encouraged to propose cost-recovery measures to enhance revenue, and to use the government’s electronic procurement system for transparency and efficiency, Abad said.

“This set of reforms will allow us to further reduce the burden of interest payments on national coffers and free up funds for productive projects,” Abad said.

“These may ultimately result in higher government revenues and, more importantly, the creation of more sustainable jobs for our country’s workforce.”

The administration also plans to apply uniform indicators in the 2013 budget to review the performance of all departments and agencies across the bureaucracy.

“By shaping key reforms in public expenditure management, we can strengthen our bid for transparency and procedural efficiency, as well as promote an attractive, investor-friendly fiscal environment,” Abad said.

Earlier, he said the administration was considering adopting the 2013 budget as a comprehensive release order for government projects.

Once the new scheme was adopted, Abad said, projects could be implemented right away without the need for special allotment release orders, improving the efficiency of the budget process.

The new approach will require the government to discontinue the practice of lump-sum funding for projects, which will need to be fleshed out in the 2013 General Appropriations Act.

“Because projects under lump sums will be subject to scrutiny and approval, the national budget itself will stand as a comprehensive release order,” Abad said.

“Of course, we need to include safeguards. What do we do, for example, if some agencies want to realign their budget? Of if the allotment was not followed and the fund was used for another project? If the disbursement is slow, can we transfer the budget to other agencies?” –Joyce Pangco Pañares, Manila Standard Today

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