2014 national budget innovation automatically releases budget of agencies -– Drilon

July 31, 2013 11:22 am 

MANILA, July 31 — The new feature of the proposed P2.268-trillion 2014 National Budget will allow agencies to quickly proceed with implementing their projects, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon.

This will be done on the first day of the year sans submission of Agency Budget Matrices (ABMs) and will just request for release of Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs).

Drilon said that one of the innovations introduced by the Executive branch to the budget is the budget-as-a-release document regime.

It means that the budgets of agencies are considered released to them as soon as the National Budget is enacted. SAROs and ABMs are documents that authorize the agency to enter into an obligation or commitment.

"On the first day of the year, the approved National Budget will be enough to authorize all government agencies to obligate their budget without needing to submit budget matrices,” Drilon said.

He said that ABMs take a considerable time of about two months before agencies could actually submit them.

"That one or two months being spent by agencies in preparing these documentary requirements could have been spent in the actual implementation of important programs such as the building of classrooms, health centers, or provision of medicines to our elderly," he added.

According to the then chair of the finance committee, the new system, once in place, can help cut red tape and ease and speed-up the processes securing a really early delivery of much-needed programs and services.

However, Drilon also noted that there will still be minimal items in the budget that will be needing clearance from proper authorities which may include, among others, intelligence and lump-sum funds.

He said agencies should deliver services to the public in a timely manner come 2014.

Furthermore, he encouraged agencies to proceed with the bidding process, short of award, while the budget is still being deliberated, so that once it is approved, they can already obligate their budgets.

"Whenever we would ask agencies to explain why there are delays in the implementation of their programs, they would pass the blame to the budget department, making it their scapegoat,” he said. (PNA)

LAM/ANP

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