The government has begun the process of formulating next year’s spending program with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issuing the Budget Call for 2017.
In National Budget Memorandum 125 issued last Friday, the DBM called on government agencies to prepare and submit their budget proposals for next year.
The department noted that it was prescribing guidelines and procedures to institutionalize financial management reforms with respect to the following key principles:
• spending within our means;
• investing in the right priorities;
• delivering measurable results;
• empowering citizens; and
• deepening and expanding the bottom-up budgeting approach.
To be incorporated in the 2017 budget proposal, the department added, are the following policy directions:
•a geographical focus on the poorest, lagging and most climate-vulnerable areas;
• the two-tier budgeting approach introduced in the preparation of the 2016 budget;
• disaggregation of lump sum amounts and a reduction in special purpose funds; and
• the adoption of a Performance Informed Budget Structure and use of the Unified Accounts Code Structure.
Agencies were given up to next month to submit their actual obligations by allotment class for the 2015 fiscal year and revenue programs for 2015 to 2019. An April 18, 2016 deadline was set for details of Cabinet-approved 2017 fiscal year forward estimates and new spending proposals.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said an official 2017 budget estimate had yet to be set. Nevertheless, he noted that the 2016 General Appropriations Act estimated the 2017 outlay to hit P3.35 trillion, 11.6 percent higher than this year’s P3.002 trillion.