The Philippines ranked first among Asian countries in terms of budget transparency, results of the Open Budget Survey (OBS) of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) for 2017 showed.
Based on the survey, the country scored an Open Budget Index (OBI) of 67, securing the top spot in Asia for budget transparency. This is also three points higher than its score of 64 back in 2015.
“We are now first in Asia, followed by Indonesia (64), Jordan (63), Japan (60), and South Korea (60),” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
Worldwide, the Philippines ranked 19th among 115 countries. The global average for the OBI in 2017 is 42.
In 2015, the Philippines ranked first in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, second in Asia after South Korea, and 22nd worldwide.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished to date. In surpassing our Asian neighbors, we have further cemented our position as a global leader in Open Government. It encourages us to persevere, to do even better, in the years ahead,” Diokno said.
The OBS is a biennial survey conducted by the IBP which assesses budget transparency based on the amount and timeliness of budget information governments make available to the public.
After being evaluated against 109 equally weighted indicators, each country receives a composite score (out of 100) that determines its ranking on the OBI.
The survey also measures the extent of public participation in the country’s budget process and budget oversight by the legislature and the Supreme Audit Institution.
In terms of the public participation indicator, the Philippines recorded a score of 41, more than three times the global average of 12. The DBM said the country is one of only four countries to achieve a moderate score in the category, along with New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Philippines received a score of 65 for budget oversight, with the legislature and the Commission on Audit providing adequate oversight over the budget.
“The Department of Budget and Management will continue to work with the legislature, our constitutional bodies, and our citizens to further enhance budget openness in the public sector,” Diokno said.
The OBS uses internationally-accepted criteria developed by multilateral organizations from sources, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.
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