WITH CONGRESS scheduled to scrutinize the proposed 1.05 trillion-peso national budget for 2006 this week, a lawmaker and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) have recently disclosed plans to modernize the way government agencies, the Palace, and lawmakers work on the national budget.
"Right now, the system is not transparent. We want to create an online information sharing system, where we're able to drill down on the budgets of each agency. So the budget hearings in Congress will only work on validating proposed budgets, saving us time," said George Kintanar, consultant to the House committee on information and communications technology.
The project will involve the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the National Computer Center, and private sector consultants, Kintanar said.
Meanwhile, House ICT committee chairman and Representative Simeon Kintanar is in discussions with DBM and other groups to study ways to shortcut the decision-making process, he said.
The e-budgeting project will develop a workflow management system, which will allow government agencies, the Palace, the DBM, and eventually Congress to work on the national budget before it is even presented to the lawmakers for approval.
This project will also allow the public to witness the whole process of creating a national budget since all information will be online, Kintanar said.
"This will allow people to know where the money is going," he said, noting that even the lawmakers will also have to disclose where their pork barrel is going in this proposed system.
Congress is set to begin hearings on the national budget come September 19, 2005. During these marathon hearings, each line agency is required to justify their budgets to lawmakers.