The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has issued the national budget call for 2021 in preparation for the crafting of the proposed budget for the said year.
The issuance of the succeeding budget call, signed by DBM secretary Wendel Avisado, was released earlier than usual, even before the approval of the proposed P4.1 trillion budget for 2020.
The budget call for 2021 was issued via National Budget Memorandum No. 133 dated November 29, 2019, and was posted in the DBM’s website yesterday. To compare, the 2020 budget call was issued in February 26, 2019, while the 2019 budget call was issued in January 3, 2018.
In a text message, Avisado said the budget ceiling for 2021 will be determined in the next Development Budget Coordination Committee meeting, scheduled on December 11.
Asked why the budget call was issued more than a year before 2021, Avisado said: “Nothing unusual. I decided to issue it early to enable the departments/agencies to prepare their proposed budgets early.”
According to the latest document, the 2021 budget proposal shall be consistent with the policies of the Duterte Administration as embodied in the 0+10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda and the Philippine Development Plan.
The DBM said priority programs and projects contained in the updated 2017-2022 Public Investment Program and the approved 2021-2023 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program reflect the continuing emphasis on infrastructure spending.
“However, increased infrastructure spending will not, in any way, detract from the full support provided to the poorest, climate change and disaster risk vulnerable areas nor the social sector, and basic public services,” the agency added.
The memo also stated that adoption of the cash budgeting system beginning 2019 emphasizes the limiting to “within the fiscal year” time frame of program/activity/project obligation and implementation.
The DBM said to ensure the national budgeting process works for the people across the different regions and provinces, the vertical (between regional and national plans) and horizontal (between various national plans affecting a region) linkages are being strengthened.
“Agencies should undertake consultations and coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs) within the Regional Development Councils to ensure that the national priorities are responsive to regional and local needs in a manner that LGU development capacities are strengthened in the process,” the memo said.