Guigona conducted forum on public revenues for budget reform

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 30, 2011-In his crusade for a transparent, accountable and participatory budget process, Senator Teofisto G. Guingona yesterday convened a forum for the Open Budget Partnership (OBP) Forum on Public Revenues together with the Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, leaders and members of the academe and the civil society organizations (CSOs).


Guingona said that the Forum on Pubic Revenues was convened because the revenue performance of the government is found to considerably affect the likelihood of achieving the objectives of the national budget in delivering quality services to the poor, where it’s objective was to inform the public about the structure of revenues of the national government, fiscal plans and targets of the Aquino Administration, and factors that may affect revenue performance and expenditure performance of the national government.


Finance Sec. Purisima explained the fiscal policies of the national government and discussed plans and policies that enable the achievement of a pro-poor budget while BIR Commissioner Jacinto-Henares presented information on the strategies of the BIR for meeting its revenue targets, and the reform plans for the agencies. BOC Commissioner Alvarez presented the strategies of the BOC for meeting its revenue targets and reforms in the agency. The members of the academe and the CSOs suggested strategies that the government needs to prioritize in raising key issues.


“The participation of the top revenue agencies in the country and the members of the CSOs and the academe highlighted the desire of the public to bring good governance in the revenue process as well,” Guingona said.


Last November 2010, the OBP was created to enhance transparency and accountability of the national budget process for the purpose of creating dialogue opportunities between the executive and legislative agencies of the government with civil society organizations.


The key budget issues were discussed and opened the way towards possible CSO participation in the budget process in the first forum which was on the National Expenditure Plan. (Jason de Asis)


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