Senior lawmaker introduces additional antidotes vs corruption

By , on August 23, 2014

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MANILA – A senior official of the House of Representatives has introduce an additional antidote against corruption to institutionalize a system of performance planning, budgeting, and accountability in all government agencies.

“We have to restore and strengthen the people’s trust in government,” Batanes Rep. Henedina Razon Abad stressed as she urged the passage of the proposed “Government Performance Management Act” contained in HB 4610.

Article II, Section 27 of the Constitution provides that the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive measures against graft and corruption, Abad cited.

Likewise, Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that “public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives,” she noted.

“The problems of corruption and inefficiency need to be eradicated to restore the people’s trust in the government,” Abad stressed.

HB 4610 seeks to: 1) formulate and implement a system of strong budget-performance linkage; 2) transform the General Appropriations Act (GAA) into a more comprehensive, transparent, and accountable tool by making available both financial and non-financial information of the agency; and 3) Institutionalize good governance practices already adapted by government agencies such as: a) Performance-informed budgeting whose objective is to make the budget a more comprehensive, transparent, and accountable document; b) Government annual Performance Plan which specifies the agencies’ intended performance goals and how to meet them and establish performance indicators to measure the programs’ results; and c) Grassroots Participatory Budgeting where basic sector organizations and other civil society organizations will have an active but limited participation in identifying, planning, and monitoring services that are responsive to the needs of the communities.

The measure mandates agencies to submit strategic plans and performance goals based on the Philippine Development Plan or PDP, which means that goals will be set and achieved, results will be measured, gaps will be filled, and progress reported.

“This way, the confidence of the people in the capability of the government will greatly improve as it will become more efficient, transparent, and accountable. Moreover, this bill will reinforce Congress’ decision-making by providing more objective information in attaining statutory objectives and realistic goals, fund sourcing and disciplined government spending,” Abad added.

The proposed law covers any of the various units of the government, including a department, bureau, office, instrumentality, state universities and colleges or government-owned and controlled corporation, or a local government or a district unit therein, as defined in Section 2 of Executive Order No. 292 or the Revised Administrative Code of 1991.

Relative to strategic planning, the bill states that “before the end of each fiscal year, the head of each agency shall ensure the preparation and updating of a strategic plan containing information on how it will link its strategic objectives with the PDP.

The agency strategic plan shall cover a period of not less than five (5) years. At least once every two (2) years or as needed, the head of the agency may make adjustments to reflect the impact of significant changes in the environment under which it is operating.

Furthermore, the bill provides that not later than the first Monday of February of the year following the effectivity of the proposed law and every year thereafter, the head of each agency shall notify the President of the Philippines and Congress of the strategic plan and any update thereto and make them available to the public through the agency website.