Press Release
September 21, 2012



Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III on Friday highlighted the importance of budget innovations in the government's budget process which promises to uplift the lives of people living in the country's poorest regions.

"The government has introduced the bottom-up budgeting system for the 2013 national budget which intends to have closer citizen engagement through civil society organizations (CSOs) and the local communities. This would translate to better programs and projects needed by the indigents," Sen. Guingona said.

He also lauds the Aquino administration for providing wider spaces to citizen participation which leads to more transparent and accountable governance.

"This process assures that public funds will be spent to intended programs benefitting target recipients to improve the social and economic well-being of citizens," Sen. Guingona added.

The good governance advocate noted that the Bottom-Up Budget that was initiated by the Aquino administration has an important goal to make sure that the preparation, allocation and use of the people's money would significantly benefit the poor.

"By "favoring the poor," we do not necessarily mean "dole outs." What we mean is that the wise use of the people's money should favor the creation of infrastructure and opportunities - those that would help the underprivileged and marginalized sectors of our society, to improve their situation and their plight. Projects under the bottom-up budgeting were identified by local communities themselves," he said.

Sen. Guingona noted that the tasks that must be done to get closer to the government's goal are not easy.

"Our nemeses are not just apathy and indifference, but an age-old culture of corruption. But the Bottom-Up Budget is determined to fulfill its mission of being open and transparent to the public. The journey may take a while, and we may have to take it one step at a time. But we are confident we will get to the finish line, perhaps sooner than we hope for," he added.

The budget reforms in the 2013 budget are geared towards enhanced transparency, accountability and openness in the budget preparation process.

Sen. Guingona has convened today the Bottom-Up Budgeting Forum that aims to discuss issues and challenges in implementing the process. It also seeks to gather observations and suggestions to improve it.

The Aquino Administration introduced the bottom-up budgeting by engaging 609 of the poorest municipalities to develop Local Poverty Reduction Action Plans together with local CSOs. These plans were submitted to the national government for consideration into the 2013 proposed national budget.

Some 593 of these municipalities have submitted plans collectively worth P8.37 billion covering community-determined projects- such as agriculture and fisheries support, potable water supply, basic education and public healthcare.

Sen. Guingona, together with OBP partners are pushing for a forum on the Bottom-Up Budgeting.

"Ang mga mahihirap ay nararapat na magkaroon ng boses sa preparasyon ng national budget sapagkat anuman ang ipatupad ng ating pamahalaan ay makakaapekto ng diretso sa kanilang mga buhay," Sen. Guingona said.

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