Baguio’s e-budgeting system to serve as model

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Budget Office disclosed the budget department is looking into the city government’s digital budgeting system as a model in the agency’s bid to revise the electronic budgeting system for city governments through a grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

City Budget Officer Leticia O. Clemente pointed that while the city government is proud its digital budgeting system is being used as a benchmark by the concerned agency for such desired revision, the city should have a copyright for its existing systems so that it can recover the cost used in updating the same by collecting from concerned local governments who may wish to use such systems.

“Our budgeting system is benefitting all the departments through less paper transactions. We are now digital and online from budget preparation and execution to include the procurement process for goods and infrastructure. We are completing the budget cycle to include accountability and monitoring,” Clemente stressed.

The city budget officer disclosed that also in the pipeline and to assist the city’s 128 barangays in the preparation of their budgets is the development of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) budget system to be deployed in time for the 2021 budget preparation which starts on the third quarter this year.

Clemente expressed her office’s gratitude to the city officials for commending them through a council resolution for winning first place in the e-gov’t category, government to the World, Global Awards of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the Department of the Interior and Local government (DILG) wherein the city government’s entry was the electronic budgeting system.

According to her, the city’s 2020 budget in the amount of P2.255 billion has been duly approved and pending review by the regional office of the budget department but the city government can already implement its programs, projects and activities.

Earlier, the City Budget Office issued release documents necessary for the concerned offices to spend for their programmed project and activities as contained in the city’s annual budget.

However, Clemente asserted the city government departments should spend for the programs, projects and activities that they had previously planned.

She revealed the budget department is monitoring the city’s financial progress through a self-assessment tool that the agency has downloaded, called the public financial and management assessment tool, thus, together with the City Planning and Development Office, the said offices will be closely monitoring the physical and financial plans versus accomplishments of all departments.

Clemente called on the patience and cooperation of city officials and employees as the city government continues to improve its processes and there is a need for them to work as a team, thus, inputs on how to improve existing processes and how to make life in city hall easier is much welcomed.

By Dexter A. See