Monday, July 23, 2007

Updates on the Rationalization program per EO 366.

Here's a status of compliance to Executive Order No. 366, or the government's rationalization program as culled from the June 2007 report of the OPIB (Organization and Productivity Improvement Bureau).

A total of 81 government entities comprising of 19 department/department level offices, 29 OEOs/other agencies, and 33 GOCCs have submitted their respective Rationalization Plans (RPs) to the DBM. This account for 72% of those covered by the rationalization program.

Of the 81 submitted RPs, 18 have already been approved. This include the Offices of the President and Vice President, CSC, CESB, NECDCC/CWC, HUDCC, NCRFW, NCMB, NHI, NM, PHILRACOM, PCSD, LWUA, NHMFC, NTA, PDA, PIDS, and TLRC. The implementation of these approved RPs entails the abolition of 2,584 positions translating into a P352.4 Million savings in personal services.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Philippines' Open Budget Index rating

On October 18, 2006 civil society organizations from 59 countries around the world introduced the Open Budget Index OBI). The OBI, a project of the Internation Budget Project (IBP) is the first survey instrument used to rate countries on how open their budget books are to their citizens. It is intended to provide citizens, legislators, and civil society advocates with the comprehensive and practical information needed to gauge a government’s commitment to budget transparency and accountability.

The Open Budget Index 2006 was calculated by the IBP based on detailed questionnaires completed by local experts in 59 participating countries from every continent. The Index assesses the availability of key budget documents, the quantity of information they provide, and the timeliness of their dissemination to citizens in order to provide reliable information on each country’s commitment to open budgeting.

The results of that survey showed that only six (6) of the 159 countries — France, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States — provide the extensive budget information necessary for government accountability.

The Philippines, with a rating of 51%, belong to the group of 32 countries which failed to make public all of the seven key budget reports they produce. These governments produce this information for their own internal use or for international donors, but do not make it available to their citizens.

More of this on my next post.

Silay Airport_runway

Runway of the New Bacolod-Silay Airport

Inaugurating the other airport of international standards

The New Bacolod-Silay Airport, the second airport of international standards built in Region VI is almost complete and ready for operation. But political leaders in Negros Occidental are at odds on the date of the airports formal inauguration and opening.

In last Friday's (July 13th) Central Philippines Projects Meeting in the new airport, the President repeatedly asked the elected officials who were around about their preferred date but no consensus was ever reached. The new Mayor of Silay City, Mayor Montelibano, would like to open the airport on that same day. Cong. Puentebella of Bacolod City proposed that the airport should not be opened until after the proposed additional 500 meters runway extension is implemented. Other local officials wanted the facility opened as soon as the access road and by-pass road leading to the airport are completed. The President jokingly quipped that the opening may as well be in 2010, the scheduled completion of the rest of the project components.

I remembered a few years back when the construction of the airport was being planned out, Negros officials were at odds where to construct the facility. Now that it is completed and operational, they are again at odds when to open it.

Meanwhile that the formal opening of the new airport is not yet decided upon, government is spending a lot of money for electricity and daily upkeep of the facility. And soon the government will start paying off part of the Php 756.671 Million borrowed from JBIC to construct the airport.