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President Aquino lays down the principles and reforms that shaped the proposed P2.268 trillion National Budget for 2014

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President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Ignatian Festival 2013 at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) in Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City on Saturday (July 20, 2013). With theme: “Lahing Loyola para sa Kapwa”. The Ignatian Festival aims to gather alumni, friend, students, faculty and staff of the Ateneo to commemorate the annual Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola (July 31), the founder of Jesuits. (MNS Photo).

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Ignatian Festival 2013 at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) in Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City on Saturday (July 20, 2013). With theme: “Lahing Loyola para sa Kapwa”. The Ignatian Festival aims to gather alumni, friend, students, faculty and staff of the Ateneo to commemorate the annual Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola (July 31), the founder of Jesuits. (MNS Photo).

MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III laid down the principles and reforms that shaped the proposed P2.268-trillion National Budget for 2014.

In his 2014 Budget Message, the Chief Executive said the 2014 National Budget will support his administration’s agenda for Inclusive Development.

The key reforms include the Performance-Informed Budgeting, Tighter Budget Prioritization for Inclusive Development, Better Collaboration as the New Standard in Government, Enabling the Private Sector as Engine of Economic Growth,Transparency at the Core of Effective Public Financial Management and Empowering the Citizenry Through the Budget.

“For this Proposed Budget for 2014, we embark on a bold move to change the way the Budget is presented. With the Performance-Informed Budget Structure (PIB), each peso is now presented alongside the results that we want to achieve,” the President said.

Before, the annual Budget presented an incomprehensible mix of financial numbers. With the PIB, the Budget has a new face which presents each peso together with the outcomes, outputs and performance targets that government agencies commit to achieve with their respective budgets.

In preparing the 2014 Budget, the President said the government issued a Budget Priorities Framework that enjoins all agencies to design their respective proposals along program priorities with the Key Result Areas of the Aquino Social Contract.

“This Budget Priorities Framework also identifies geographic focus areas where our poorest people are and where great potential lies. We have directed these departments to not only prioritize their resources for these programs and areas but also tighten their collaboration in these areas for greater impact,” the President stressed.

The President said Budget was designed not in the usual way, where agencies competed against each other for a share of scarce national resources. With the Program Budgeting Approach, government agencies moved out of their silos to converge their efforts and resources along priority programs.

“Sa pagsasakatuparan ng ating Social Contract, mahalagang siguruhin na nagbubukluran—at hindi nagkakanya-kanya—ang bawat institusyon ng ating pamahalaan,” he said.

He acknowledged that government spending alone is not enough to push growth upwards. Thus, he underscored the need for the administration to create the right environment for the private sector to flourish.

“As we do our part in establishing the right environment for growth, the private sector must likewise fulfill its role as engine of economic growth,” he said.

This Budget seeks to sustain macroeconomic stability, promote the streamlining of business processes and invest in the needed public goods like infrastructure.

In line with the Public Financial Management Reform Roadmap, the government will move towards a Budget-as-Release Document regime in 2014.

“Last year, we announced the move toward a Budget-as-Release-Document Regime through the 2014 Budget. This regime promotes predictability and speed in budgetary releases, as well as in implementation, as the budgets of agencies—except for those that need prior clearance, to be contained in a negative list—are considered as released as soon as the Budget is enacted,” he said.

In crafting the 2014 Budget, the government expanded mechanisms for citizen’s meaningful participation in the budget process.

“We introduced the process of Budget Partnership Agreements between government agencies, corporations, and civil society organizations and piloted it in crafting the 2012 Budget. In this process, government agencies and civil society organizations partners enter into a formal partnership in the review of the budgets, programs, and projects of the agencies, as well as in the crafting of their budget proposals for the following fiscal year,” he said. (MNS)

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