THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is pushing the passage of a bill that will institutionalize the cash budgeting system.

“For 2023, we will strive to do more, to do better and be better. On top of our list, we will pursue the budget modernization bill to institutionalize the cash budgeting system (CBS),” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement.

“To fully reap the impact of CBS and ensure prudent fiscal management and improved budget reliability, there is a need to institutionalize the full implementation of the CBS,” she added.

Versions of the budget modernization bill have been filed by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude A. Acidre, and Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda.

Senator Jose “Jinggoy” P. Ejercito, Jr. in August filed a bill that would institutionalize the CBS.

The latest administration’s version of the Budget Modernization bill is yet to be submitted to Congress, according to the DBM Fiscal Planning and Reforms Bureau.

The cash budgeting system was mandated by then President Rodrigo R. Duterte through Executive Order No. 91 in 2019. It aims to improve fiscal planning of the government through the implementation of an operational cash budget. It sets deadlines for the obligation of funds and the execution of projects during the fiscal year to speed up the implementation of programs.

Under the cash budgeting system, all authorized appropriations will be made available for obligation and disbursement only until the end of each fiscal year.

Before the CBS, the government enforced an obligation-based budgeting system that allowed the delivery of contracts awarded, inspection, verification and payment even after the end of the year, which often result in delays.

The Budget Modernization bill is among the priority legislative measures identified by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

Mr. Romualdez last week said the House would work on passing these measures once Congress resumes session on Jan. 23.

The DBM is also proposing a shorter transitional arrangement for the National Expenditure Program this year.

Ms. Pangandaman said the government would also fast-track the development and implementation of the Budget Treasury and Management System to improve the efficiency of fiscal management and reporting.

“We will pursue the rightsizing of the bureaucracy to transform the government into an agile, responsive and data-driven bureaucracy in order to deliver secure and seamless public services,” she added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C .Jocson