BARMM vows to raise intervention in public expenditure management

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DAVAO CITY—The Bangsamoro government said it would increase its intervention in managing public expenditures in a bid to ensure sound financial management. 

Among these interventions include a month-long planning and budgeting, and repeated reminders to chiefs of offices to observe transparency and accountability, said Bangsamoro Senior Minister Abdulraof  Macacua.

He represented Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the Bangsamoro Budget Forum for Fiscal Year 2024 last month. 

“A month-long planning and budgeting are not easy. You have been working tirelessly to provide the Bangsamoro people with what they deserve.”

“Let us always keep in mind that what we are now is the result of the 50 years of Bangsamoro struggle. Let us not waste it and commit to practicing what we learn today. May our goal remain intact that this is for the Bangsamoro people,” Macacua said. 

In the budget forum, Minister Ubaida C. Pacasem of the Ministry of Finance Budget and Management (MFBM) presented the salient features of the Budget Call for fiscal year 2024 that contains the parameters to guide the ministries and offices in preparing their respective budget proposals. 

Pacasem also commended the efforts of Bangsamoro government personnel “in continuously taking part in the goals and aspirations of the Bangsamoro government, paving the way to the realization of significant milestones in the region through the establishment of a sound financial environment.” 

The annual forum was attended by key heads of the regional offices, the ministers, heads of offices, director-generals, budget and planning officers, chief accountants, as well as representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs). 

MFBM Deputy Minister Amilbahar Amilasan Jr. reminded everyone of the duties and responsibilities as the BARMM’s financial managers.

“Moral governance in the Bangsamoro government intensifies government actions, especially in policy and decision making with a sense of responsibility, ensuring transparency and accountability, strengthening work commitment, protecting the spirit of fairness, and elevating integrity,” Amilasan said.

Rasul Salik member of MFBM Technical Working Group said 2024 will be the last remaining full calendar year of the extended transition period, considering the possible changes come 2025 with the recent passage of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code and the eventual regular elections come mid-2025. 

“The crafting of the Bangsamoro budget for the calendar year 2024 is key in making sure that all the desired reforms in our way of governance are implemented, all the public goods and services we promised to the Bangsamoro people are duly given to them, and ultimately, all the desired progress and development we envision for our people is finally realized,” Salik said. 

He said the Bangsamoro government “recognizes the modernization of the national budget process to improve the efficiency of the processes such as planning, procurement, cash management, and payment systems.