Press Release
September 22, 2011

Senator Guingona eyes ARMM budget reforms

Senator TG Guingona is conducting a focus group discussion (FGD) on the reforms for the ARMM budget on 22 September 2011 at 2pm to 7pm to be held at the Conference room 1 to 4, Asian Institute Management, Makati City.

The FGD is divided into two phases. First is the Manila round where several young muslim leaders have been invited for an orientation on how the ARMM budget works. Second is the Cotabato round where the learnings from the Manila round will be presented in a local workshop for Muslim leaders.

Representatives from government agencies like COA and DBM; Civil Service Organizations Reform ARMM Now, Social Watch, InciteGov and former ARMM officials have been invited as resource persons. Young muslim leaders from Mindanao are also participating in the discussions.

According to Senator Guingona, the FGD aims to identify the problems of public finance and accountability in the ARMM budget and to determine how the new administration can respond to these problems.

"It primarily aims to empower the young Muslim leaders of Mindanao to understand the ARMM budget in order to simplify this complex government processes and to increase their awareness on the issues and areas for reform, as well as mapping out possible solutions," Senator Guingona said.

Senator TG Guingona also said he believes that budget reform is vital in pushing for positive changes in how the government can achieve development goals through a responsive budget. In November 2009, Senator TG Guingona convened the Open Budget Partnership (OBP), a coalition of the executive and legislative branches of government, civil society organizations, and development partners which aims to promote transparency, accountability and participation in the whole budget process.

"In order for ARMM to initiate reforms, it must have a sound budget allocation and process in order to address the concerns of the region," Senator Guingona said

Guingona said he believes that Open Budget forum is needed in order to pull in those in ARMM, National Government Agencies, particularly COA and DBM, and other CSO, to discuss and identify key problems and possibly identify solutions that will be helpful for next year's budget.

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