PH is the top Asian country in budget transparency – int’l research institute

The results of the Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2017 showed that the Philippines is at the top spot among all Asian countries in terms of budget transparency.

The survey conducted by the non-profit research group International Budget Partnership (IBP) measures the budget transparency based on the amount and timeliness of budget information governments make available to the public, and whether the public is given opportunities “to participate in the budget process at the national level.”

The Philippines obtained a transparency or open budget index (OBI) score of 67 out of 100, three points higher than its previous score in 2015 and its global average of 42, landing in the top spot next to Indonesia (64), Jordan (63), Japan (60), and South Korea (60). In the global ranking, the Philippines clinched the 19th spot.

In terms of public participation in the budget process, the Philippines tallied a score of 41 out of 100, more than three times its global average of 12. On the budget oversight category, the Philippines got a score of 65 out of 100, which means that the legislature and the Commission on Audit are providing adequate oversight over the country’s budget.

“In surpassing our Asian neighbors, we have further cemented our position as a global leader in Open Government. It encourages us to persevere, to do even better, in the years ahead,” Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said. “The Department of Budget and Management will continue to work with the legislature, our constitutional bodies, and our citizens to further enhance budget openness in the public sector,” he added.

The OBS is conducted every two years and uses internationally accepted criteria developed by multilateral organizations from sources like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT).