Philippines ranks first in Asia for budget transparency

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked first in Asia for transparency in the 2023 Open Budget Survey (OBS).

The OBS is a survey done by the international non-government organization International Budget Partnership, which is based in the United States. The survey measures transparency, budget oversight, and public participation.

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According to the OBS Survey, the Philippines got a 75 out of 100 for transparency. A score of 61 and above indicates that a country is releasing enough material to the public to keep it informed.

“The Philippines climbed seven points in the OBS for transparency, garnering an open budget index score of 75 out of 100. This is a marked improvement from the score of 68 in 2021, beating the government’s target score of 71 under the Philippine Development Plan 2023 – 2028,” said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in a statement on Thursday.

Globally, the Philippines ranked 15th out of 125 countries for budget transparency.

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The Philippines also garnered an 83 out of 100 for budget oversight, with both legislative and audit oversight being deemed adequate. The country ranked sixth in the world for budget oversight.

Lastly, the Philippines only got a score of 33 out of 100 for public participation, meaning that the OBS found that there were few opportunities for the public to engage in “meaningful participation in the different stages of the budget process.”

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“This is very welcome news, especially as we are also celebrating this year’s Open Gov Week and solid proof that the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. works for and with the people to promote good governance in the country. Rest assured that the DBM will continue its best practices in ensuring a transparent, participatory, and accountable People’s Budget,” Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement.