“A journey towards
enhancing Local Government Budgeting through Civil Society
Organization and Local Government Unit partnership”
[Posted 14 April
Position Paper Presented to the Local Government Units, National
Government Agencies and Policy Makers during the BTTAG Policy Forum 21
January 2011, Marco Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Philippines is gaining new momentum in peace, development and
growth, poverty, marginalization, and poor governance are still
prevalent. Good governance as one of the solutions has to be
effective and efficient. The newly elected President Benigno C.
Aquino III and his Administration bring fresh mandate of good and
genuine governance in the country. He has articulated his strong
support to transparent accountable governance, community-based peace
building, sustainable development, and equitable growth in the
Transparent Accountable Governance Program of The Asia Foundation,
with support from the United States Agency for International
Development, in partnership with the Mindanao Coalition of
Development NGOs (MINCODE) through the Balay Mindanaw Foundation
Inc. (BMFI), initiated the Budget Tracking for Transparent
Accountable Governance (BTTAG) initiative as part of its good
governance modeling. BTTAG’s aim is to increase the transparency
and accountability in the local budget process of 20 Mindanao local
governments, and to improve Civil Society Organizations’ (CSO)
access to local government fiscal information, especially the
budget, by journeying with the Local Government Units (LGU)in budget
budgeting assumes that LGU conducts regular assessment as part of
local budgeting. This includes the following: formulation and
regular review of local peace and development plans including the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG) status in the LGUs, conduct of
the Local Government Performance and Management System (LGPMS) and
System on Competency Assessment for Local Governments (SCALOG),
review of preceding income statement from the Department of Budget
and Management (DBM), and the consideration of the electoral
platform of the local elected officials.
budgeting then passes through three major phases of activities.
First is the Budget Formulation. In times where there are newly
installed elected officials, the Executive and Legislative Agenda
Formulation precede budgeting. It normally starts with Budget Call
of the Local Chief Executive, authorization, and ends with the
budget reviewed by the appropriate higher office. Second is the
Budget Execution that starts with the Budget Request from the
requesting office and ends in the Liquidation of the expense. Third
is the Budget Accounting. This covers the regular financial
accounting and analysis of all the disbursement and expenditures of
the LGU in one fiscal year.
implementation started in July of 2010. The CSO partners have
formally engaged with the LGUs on local budgeting covering phase one
or budget formulation.
Budget Tracking Situation
Executive and Legislative Agenda Formulation
twenty LGUs of the BTTAG areas have formulated their Executive and
Legislative Agenda. This gave the newly elected officials and the
local bureaucracy of the local government time to review the local
peace and development plan that includes the MDG status, familiarize
with the political agenda/platform of the newly elected officials,
know the result of the LGPMS and SCALOG, and know how much is the
financial ceiling of the LGU as declared by DBM.
that BTTAG CSOs during that time still have to secure accreditation
following DILG-coordinated Local Sanggunian accreditation and Local
Special Bodies selection processes, they were not involved in this
LEDAC planning. Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks
(MINCODE) and the Coalition of Social Development Organization –
South Cotabato (CSDO-SC) are still awaiting the approval of their
application for accreditation to the local sanggunian.
Sanggunian had to facilitate the approval of the applications in
order for the CSOs to be able to participate in the selection for
CSOs in local special bodies.
critical factor during this phase of the local budget process is the
capability and capacity of the Local Planning and Development
Officer in leading the comprehensive assessment and planning of the
Chief Executive issues a memorandum calling all Departments Heads to
formulate the next fiscal year’s budget.
Budget Submission and Finalization of the Executive
Department heads held meetings with their staff and personnel. They
discussed their 2011 plans and budgets. They reviewed their past
year’s budget, and identified new programs and projects.
For some budget items, they just set and computed certain
percentage increase for the next year’s amount. They then
submitted their budgets to the budget officer for initial review and
Sessions with the Local Chief Executive, and sometimes with the
presence of the Local Council, were conducted. These sessions
finalize the Executive budget..
of Primary Health Care – Davao Medical School Foundation
(IPHC-DMSF) in Panabo City and Katilingbanong Pamahandi sa mindanaw
Foundation Inc. (KPMFI) in the Province of Misamis Oriental were
able to attend department level planning and budgeting meetings.
They also attended the Executive Budget Sessions with the Local
Chief Executives of their respective LGUs.
remaining CSO partners were made to wait until the Executive budget
was formally completed by the Office of the Mayor. They were then
given copies of the executive budget.
the Local Sanggunians were able to pass a new budget ordinance for
fiscal year 2011. The Local Sanggunians are generally open to the
presence of the CSOs in their sessions. CSOs in the Cities of
Ozamiz, Digos, Oroquieta, and General Santos, and in the Provinces
of Misamis Oriental and Saranggani were able to participate in the
Local Sanggunian Committee Hearing. The CSOs in Davao, Butuan,
Ozamiz, Digos, Misamis Oriental, and Panabo LGUs were able to attend
the Sanggunian’s second reading session.
Province of Maguindanao failed to enact a new budget ordinance. They
reenacted their 2010 budget. The Province of Misamis Oriental is
awaiting the Local Chief Executive’s action on the submitted
budget ordinance from the Sangguniang Panglalawigan.
where old budgets were reenacted, CSOs had to study what roles
should they play to contribute to the passage of the local budget
Review of the 2011 Budget Ordinance
The 90 days
provision of the law for the reviewing higher office is sufficient.
In the City
of Dipolog, it was observed that there was a delay in the approval
of the review. It affected the performance of the city due to the
delay of implementation of its major programs and projects.
Participation of civil society organizations in
local budget process
Philippine Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991
recognize the right of the citizens to participate in the
development process. One mechanism is the membership of
non-government organizations in Local Development Councils. CSO
representatives can participate in the deliberations of the plans,
budgets, and concerns of the local government.
They can participate in prioritizing programs and projects
that respond to the needs of the people. However the Code offers
limited venues for CSO participation in the local budget process.
that engaged the LGUs were able to participate in the local budget
process because of the Project. However, a rough start was
encountered in Iligan, Marawi, El Salvador, and Maguindanao because
of the LGU’s initial hesitations to fully engage with the CSOs.
governments of Pagadian, Tacurong, and Tagum deferred their
participation in BTTAG. However, the project continued to be
implemented in Tacurong and Pagadian because of the commitment of
Notre Dame of Tacurong – Community Extension Service (NDT-CES),
and Xavier Agricultural Extension Service (XAES) to
promote transparency in all local government undertakings.
Provincial Government of Maguindanao on the other hand, conducted
for the first time an orientation-workshop on strengthening
partnership with civil society organization.The 8-point development
agenda of the Governor was promoted, a CSO desk has been created,
and the focal persons from CSO and LGU were designated. They are
awaiting appointment from the Governor.
Capacity and capability of CSOs on budget tracking
partners face three major challenges. First is the challenge to
understand and familiarize themselves with the local budget process.
Second is the challenge of participating substantially and
effectively. Third is the challenge of building or sustaining
relationships with and within the local bureaucracy.
opened the gateway for CSOs to journey with the LGUs. They have
undertaken necessary protocols and have been engaged in the local
budget process. Conflicts in the schedule of activities, the lack of
endorsement and prior approval from the local chief executives, and
negative attitudes of some local officials hindered CSOs’
meaningful engagement with the LGUs
LGUS AND JOINT MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR
Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2007was formulated by DILG,
NEDA, DBM and DoF to provide guidelines in local planning,
investment programming, revenue administration, budgeting and
expenditure management. With the mandate to harmonize the whole
process, this joint memorandum was addressed to all Provincial
Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, Punong Barangays, Members of
the Sanggunian, Local Development Councils, and the Local Finance
the implementation of the memorandum is not yet fully realized.
Closer coordination with the local government officials, CSOs, and
the national line agencies would enhance its intent, and the
implementation of the BTTAG complements it.
DILG to issue a Memorandum Circular to LGUs enjoining
them to strengthen citizen participation in Local Development
Councils (at least 25% of the LDC members), and in local sectoral
bodies (Local School Boards, Local Health Boards, Local Disaster
Risk Reduction Management Councils, Solid Waste Management Councils,
Amend the Local Government Code by putting a provision
that includes a
representative from the CSO/PS to sit as member of the Local Finance
DILG, DBM, NEDA, and COA to issue memorandum circulars
or directives to all their respective
field offices to collaborate and assist private and civil
society organizations in promoting transparency and accountability
in the local budget process.
DBM, COA, NEDA, DSWD, and other NGAs together with
CSOs/PS to establish an effective planning and budgeting, monitoring
and accountability mechanism to monitor the implementation of the
Joint Memo Circular No. 1 Series of 2007: Harmonization Local
Planning, Investment Programming, Revenue Administration, Budgeting
and Expenditure Management. Include awards and sanctions.
NEDA to enhance the capacity of Local Planning and
Development Officers to facilitate the conduct of local peace and
development planning and budgeting to ensure participation and
quality of output.
DILG to fully
implement MC 2010-83 on Full Disclosure Policy.
DILG to study
the review provision of the local budgets by higher appropriate
offices in light of partisan political interests involved in the