By Ben O. de Vera, September 5 2018; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Image Credit to Department of Budget and Management

The Department of Budget and Management has recommended granting the budgeting, accounting and internal auditing powers to the federal government when President Duterte’s plan to change the form of government prospers.

In a statement late Monday, the DBM said that in principle, it “supports the shift from the present system of governance to a federal form of government.”

However, the DBM said that during its presentation at last week’s Economic Development Cluster (EDC) meeting, which was also attended by members of the Consultative Committee, the agency asserted its mandate “to promote the sound, efficient, and effective management and utilization of government resources.”

The DBM noted that the draft federal charter did not have any provision on budgeting, accounting as well as internal auditing.

“As such, the DBM recommends to vest such power to the federal government in order to synchronize the budgeting processes and priorities between the federal government and the federated regions, “ it said.

“In addition, there is a need to further strengthen the proposed draft charter, particularly on the fiscal aspect of the proposed federal government and federated regions. To address this, economic managers will come up with projections simulating the budgetary impact of the shift to federalism. These projections shall be based on different scenarios in the assignment of expenditure and revenue functions between the federal government and federated regions,” it added.

Also, the DBM sought a review of the bureaucracies of both the federal government and the proposed 18 federated regions to bring down the overhead costs to be brought about by the bigger number of senators, congressmen as well as judges under the draft federal charter.

“Such increase would require more technical support staff. In fact, for the proposed increase in Senate staff alone, personnel services would cost an additional P281 million,” the DBM said.

“In line with this, a review of staff size and salaries under the draft charter is recommended in order to promote a uniform and reasonable standardization for both the federal government and the federated regions,” according to the DBM.