Friday, September 11, 2015

PH budget transparency, 64; Congress budget oversight, 36

THE PHILIPPINES scored 64, on a scale of 0 to 100, for transparency of eight budget documents in the latest Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2015, a report on 102 countries in the world.
This piece of good news comes, however, with findings of weakness in budget oversight by the Philippine Congress, which got a dismal 36 points.
Yet still, budget oversight by the Commission on Audit got a 92-point score, while public participation, 67, one of the highest in the world.
The new Philippine rating, for transparency of budget documents, a 16-point growth from 48 in 2012, puts the country in the top tier of 24 nations that provide substantial budget information to citizens.
The only independent, comparative, and regular measure of global budget transparency and accountability conducted every two years by independent civil society researchers, the OBS is a project of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) based in Washington, DC.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) has served as country researcher for the OBS since 2008. Karol Ilagan and Charmaine P. Lirio of PCIJ did research for the Philippines for OBS 2015.
The OBS does not reflect opinion but measures observable facts using 140 indicators, according to a standard research methodology.
OBS 2015 Is the fifth to be released by IBP since 2006. It now covers 102 countries that are home to about 90 percent of the world’s population.
Not an opinion poll
The OBS uses documented evidence and objective criteria “to evaluate the extent to which national or central governments in 102 countries provide the public with timely and comprehensive access to eight key budget documents required by international good practices.”
The OBS also examines “the ability of legislatures and supreme audit institutions to provide effective oversight of government budgets and opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process.”
The OBS is not an opinion poll or a measure of perceptions. It is based instead on a rigorous, objective methodology subject to independent review.
Researchers were trained in the OBS methodology and required to test budget transparency in practice, visit with government offices to check compliance with publication deadlines, and interview key informants.
Documented evidence, including citation of a law, interview, a copy of a document, were required to back up the researchers’ answers to the questionnaire. - From mindanews.com

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