ECCP@Work

Meeting with Budget Secretary Diokno – 16 March 2017

March 23, 2017 ECCP@Work

ECCP, together with its colleagues from the Joint Foreign Chambers, met with DBM Secretary Diokno to discuss the following:

  • On 2018 budget, budget reforms, and other DBM priorities. 
    • DBM continues the two-Tier Budgeting Approach (2TBA): Tier 1 is for ongoing existing projects, while Tier 2 is for new initiatives and extension of programs.
    • DBM projects the completion of 2018 budget allocation in May before the State of the Nation Address.
    • DBM mentioned various projects in the pipeline. Majority of what was shared was on infrastructure (e.g., interconnection of fourteen bridges).
    • The establishment of a government center in Clark is also deemed a priority.
    • 40% of the budget is allocated for social programs (e.g., education, healthcare, social welfare and development).
  • Tax Reform 
    • Despite several oppositions to new tax reforms, DBM is confident and optimistic that 2018 budget will be efficiently spent.
  • Righ-sizing bill 
    • DBM Secretary cites right-sizing bill which aims to have a closer look at the bureaucracy’s current set up and the reorganization of the same. This has already been passed in Congress, at Committee level.
    • The current administration is considering the creation of a Department for Housing and Urban Development in lieu of the current National Housing and Urban Developing Coordinating Council.
  • Government Procurement Reform 
    • The Joint Foreign Chamber made mention of the Flag Law of 1936 which gives preferential treatment to domestic suppliers.
    • JFC stressed the benefit of foreign participation in government procurement of goods and services. Foreign investors are prepared to introduce long term investment into the country, be it in capital, technology and knowledge transfer, as well as long term employment generation.
    • DBM is of the opinion that amendments, if any, should be made in the IRR.
    • DBM emphasizes that price of service should not be the sole consideration; the lowest responsible bidder should win.
  • Integrity Pledge 
    • ECCP shares about Integrity Initiative to the DBM Secretary, highlighting the need for good governance, transparency, and ethical practices.
    • ECCP suggests that the Integrity Pledge must be signed by businessmen who wish to get incentives from government.