The European Union (EU) and the Philippine government turned over computers and training equipment worth P5.6 Million to 16 local government units (LGUs) and 16 regional government agencies of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Attended by DBM officials, Achim Tillessen, head of Development Cooperation of the EU Delegation, and Mayor Gerardo Calderon of Angono, Rizal, the turnover held on October 22 forms part of the EU-funded project, “Support to the Local Government Units for More Effective and Accountable Public Finance Management (LGU PFM 2 Project),” which seeks to elevate the current state of Public Financial Management (PFM) at the local government level.
Out of the country’s 1,715 LGUs, the 16 were carefully selected by the DBM, BLGF, NEDA, and DILG based on their readiness and willingness to implement PFM reforms. The chosen LGUs are slated to receive a full suite of IT equipment comprising four desktop PCs, one laptop, one projector, one LCD screen, one laser printer and accessories.
“The ultimate goal of the LGU PFM 2 Project is to help local governments strengthen their public financial management systems and achieve improved revenue generation and expenditure management. This turnover of equipment has been in the works since May 2013 and is one of many milestones we’ve reached. With each new project, our intention is for LGUs grow more transparent, responsive, and accountable,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
The Philippines has in recent years improved its public financial management system with crucial assistance from the LGU PFM program, Abad added. “This latest endeavor will allow participating local governments and regional offices to undertake PFM more efficiently.”
“An efficient and effective delivery of public goods and services is the goal of good governance. Public Financial Management makes good governance possible because it helps us upgrade the quality of service for the people,” said Angono Mayor Gerardo Calderon.
He added, “The computers and the other training equipment will surely help us to improve financial transparency through our expenditure reports as the public is made aware of how much we have already spent and where these funds are used.”
The mayor also emphasized the importance of the donated equipment in expenditure report generation and analysis to come up with informed and evidence-based policy interventions that are truly responsive to the people’s needs.
“Local authorities are in the frontline of the delivery of public services and are responsible for 16 percent of the FY 2015 National Budget or P423.3 billion. It is therefore crucial that LGUs have the tools to perform better and more transparently which will ultimately lead to better service delivery,” said Achim Tillessen, Head of Development Cooperation of the EU Delegation.
The relationship between the European Union and the Republic of the Philippines is a longstanding one, with recent years seeing ties bolstered by multi-year initiatives like LGU PFM 2.
The new seven-year EU support strategy more than doubles grant assistance to the Philippines, from 130 million euros (P7 billion) to 325 million euros (P17 Billion). These grants make the EU, together with its member states, the biggest donor to Philippines.