2010 Philippine Public Expenditure Review Dissemination Workshop

February 11, 2011
The dissemination workshop was essentially a sharing on the findings of studies by a team from the World Bank concerning the country`s current public expenditure. Joined by some KDC-Naga staff, the resource persons spent the morning of February 11 in a field visit at Triangulo Barangay Health Center and Pacol Elementary School mainly to validate the presentation of their studies during the dissemination forum in the afternoon of the same day at Avenue Plaza Hotel, Naga City, Camarines Sur.

The presentations are composed of the following:

1. Key Findings on Expenditure Levels and Efficiency, Outputs and Development Outcomes , Justine Diokno-Sicat, WB Consultant and Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines.  The study underscored the result of having spent limited budget on health and education, and other basic social services and public infrastructures to non-basic items. 

2. Key Findings on Decentralization and Regional Inequality, Rosa Alonso I Terme, Senior Public Sector Specialist and Task Team Leader.  The study highlighted the decline in the allocation for basic services as attributed to the impact of decentralization where national functions devolved to the local government units proceeded without corresponding budget allocation.  This section also pointed out the reliance of most LGUs on the  internal revenue allocation (IRA).   

3. Efficiency of Public Spending, Larry Cui, economist at WB Washington.  Aside from singling out the need for government spending, some basic points covered here were on adjusting spending and tax rates (fiscal policy) and employing other economic measures to enable the government to regulate the growth rate of the economy.  

With each presentation followed by comments from the Department of Budget and Management and local government units, the forum arrived at some basic recommendations.  These include focus on government`s critical role in stirring the general flow of economic activity, to maintain steady growth, high levels of employment and price stability, and sustainable local development.  This role is coupled by the local government stepping up its resource generation capacity and local development initiatives through improved tax collection and income-generation drive by engaging in economic enterprises.  More important, emphasis was also given on citizen participation in the local decision-making, vigilance in encouraging and monitoring government spending.  

47 participants representing organizations from local government units, academia, media, government line agencies, and the civil society mostly from Albay, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon provinces attened the information dissemination activity.

To facilitate the forum process, Center for Community Development Director Mr. Elmer Santo Domingo, Jr. anchored the event.  USIC  Chairperson and KDC Supervisor Atty. Mila Raquid-Arroyo welcomed the participants by highlighting the role of KDC-Naga as a knowledge-sharing organization, while Ateneo Social Science Research Center Director Dr. Cristina Lim  delivered a brief but concise summary of major points of the study presentations into a comprehensive whole towards a calling to work together for transparent governance and full sectoral participation in government public spending for sustainable development.