Commission on Appointments confirms Avisado as Budget chief

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2020   •   561

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte congratulates newly appointed Budget Acting Secretary Wendel Avisado following the oath-taking ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on August 5, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Wendel Avisado as the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Avisado has been serving as DBM’s acting secretary since President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him to the post in August 2019.

He replaced Undersecretary Janet Abuel who had been in an acting capacity since former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno was named as governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in March 2019.

In his time as Budget acting secretary, he has seen to the swift enactment of the 2020 National Budget and of Republic Act 11466, or the Salary Standardization Law 5.

Avisado is a lawyer who entered government service in 1986 and went on to occupy various leadership positions in the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the City of Davao.

He was appointed as Deputy Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Council in 2010. In 2016, he began his service as Presidential Assistant for Special Concerns under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Commission of Appointments is a constitutional body comprised of members of the Senate and House of Representatives who approve or deny the appointment of certain officials.

PH policy limiting advance payments to 15% may hamper COVID-19 vaccine procurement – DBM chief

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado on Friday raised the need to increase the 15-percent limitation on advance payments on the contract amount for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines amid government preparations for the roll-out of its inoculation plans.

Avisado said raising the down payment limit will “ensure the timely and efficient implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination plan.”

Memorandum Order No. 172, s. 2005 only allows advance payment not exceeding 15% of the contract amount for procurement of goods required to address contingencies arising from natural or man-made calamities in areas where a “State of Calamity” has been declared by appropriate authorities.

Avisado said the government is presently experiencing difficulties in negotiating with various pharmaceutical companies due to the limitations imposed under existing laws.

“…Currently, pwede ka lang magbayad o mag advance payment hanggang 15%… Ang gusto ng mga pharmaceutical industries, bayaran mo na… I-aadvance mo na ang payment bago ma-ideliver… In other words, talagang tatalunin tayo ng mga mayayamang bansa,” Avisado said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Avisado called for greater patience and understanding from the public regarding the vaccine procurement process.

He stressed that the government cannot divulge specific details on its negotiations with pharmaceutical companies—such as prices and the manners of delivery—as both parties are bound by a confidentiality agreement.

However, he assured that all of the transactions made by the government remain legitimate and honest.

The government is also committed to ensure the safe and timely procurement, transportation, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines despite all of the limitations and challenges, he added.

“Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon naman ang ating pamahalaan na makalap muna at makakuha ng vaccine. Kasi hindi pa man nangyayari yan, ay katakot-takot na batikos ang naririnig natin, meron po mga pamamaraan dyan, kung saan makikita’t makikita natin kung meron talagang kalokohan,” Avisado said.

The DBM chief also reassured the public that the budget for the said vaccines has already been allocated and is now ready for release.

He likewise welcomed and acknowledged the efforts of various local government units across the country for complementing and cooperating with the national government in its efforts to secure the much-needed vaccines.

“Meron tayong pondo dyan…. P82.5B ang inilaan ng ating pamahalaan. Wag po tayong mag worry. Nakikipagtulungan ang mga local government units natin at sila din ay handa na bumili sa abot ng kanilang makakaya. We appreciate that very much po,” Avisado said.

SAP will no longer be funded under proposed 2021 national budget —DBM

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said there will be no budget to be allotted for the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under the proposed 2021 National Budget.

DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado said they expect the economy to recover next year with additional job opportunities available.

He also clarified that there will still be an allotted budget for the regular programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“We’re looking at the improvement in the economy and the opportunity for people to be able to work already. And we still have the regular programs, the 4Ps your honor, that will be continued,” he said on Wednesday (September 9) during a Senate hearing.

Under the proposed P4.5 trillion budget, P171 billion will be allotted to the DSWD. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

DBM submits proposed P4.5-T proposed national budget to Congress

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 26, 2020

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has submitted the Fiscal Year 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP) of P4.506 trillion to Congress.

The 2021 proposed National Budget is 9.9% higher compared with this year’s ₱4.1-trillion appropriations.

The DBM said the proposed budget went through numerous hearings and consultations with different government agencies. The theme of the proposed budget, according to the department, is “Reset, Rebound, and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability”.

Personnel Services will corner the bulk of the FY 2021 NEP at 29.2% or P1.32 trillion to accommodate the additional hiring of health workers under the Human Resource for Health Program of the Department of Health (DOH) amid the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The FY 2021 NEP will prioritize health-related COVID-19 response programs to address the continuing threat of the pandemic,” the DBM said in a statement.

This also includes the second tranche implementation of the Salary Standardization law, and the increased pension requirements of military and uniformed personnel.

Capital outlays has the second highest with P920.5 billion or 20.4% of the proposed budget. Maintenance, Operating and Other Expenditures will amount to P699.4 billion, Debt Burden with P560.2 billion, Support to Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations with P157.5 billion, and Tax Expenditures with P14.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) remains the top agency with the biggest slice from the proposed budget, with an allocation of P754.4 billion. This is followed by DPWH with a proposed budget of P667.3 billion.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has a proposed budget of P246.1 billion, the Department of National Defense (DND) with P209.1 billion, the DOH with P203.1 billion (including the budget for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation). AAC

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