DBM draws up rules for CSOs
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has drawn up criteria that would qualify civil society organizations (CSOs) to consult with government agencies on preparing the national budget.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said Wednesday eligibility requirements for CSOs come with a set of guidelines on “citizen engagement” even as Malacañang touts its efforts to broaden people’s participation in handling state funds.
Abad said the DBM has released the guidelines to standardize its partnership program with CSOs and other concerned stakeholders, particularly regarding the national budget for 2013.
“The guidelines reaffirm our desire to institutionalize participatory budgeting in government,” he said. “We want our  expenditure program [to be] truly community- and results-oriented.”
Spelled out in a circular dated January 31, the guidelines identify key parameters for citizen participation, especially in the preparation and submission of agency budget proposals for the next fiscal year.
Abad said the circular includes a set of governing principles for DBM-CSO engagement, rules for implementing CSO partnerships, procedures for consultations, and the necessary feedback mechanisms for proper documentation of the consultation process.
“We have already tasked government departments and GOCCs to establish strong ties with people’s organizations so that resulting budget proposals are accurate, comprehensive and participatory,” he said.
“To ensure the efficiency of the consultation process, CSOs and their corresponding agencies must enter into Budget Partnership Agreements (BPAs), which will define the scope of CSO engagements in budget preparation and execution, and the evaluations of agency programs and activities,” Abad said.
“The guidelines also specify eligibility requirements for partner CSOs to ensure the qualification and proper authority of partner organizations,” he added.
The budget chief said concerned departments and state firms must explain in writing—which should be included in their budget proposal submissions—if they fail to enter into a BPA with eligible CSOs.
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