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World Bank Group, DBM back BARMM’s digitization initiative

MARAWI CITY (PIA)--The digitization initiative for BARMM's system of governance is being supported by the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), following a consultation, February 15.

The World Bank Group reaffirms its engagement with the Ministry of Finance, and Budget and Management (MFBM) as the two agencies plan to beef up economic and digitalization opportunities in the Bangsamoro autonomous region.

World Bank's Country Director Ndiame Diop, discussed potential joint ventures on tax, expenditure management, and Islamic finance, which could significantly improve the region's socioeconomic status.

"We continue to support the BARMM in these aspects, and we are happy to discuss it with you. On the tax side, we did good work with the workshop and probably, tax devolution," Diop said.

"It’s really about public investment management, and we would like to discuss with you the allocative efficiency of BARMM, which includes optimal distribution of services and the ministries' and offices’ utilization rate, and we recognize that there are a lot of things that need to address with," Diop added.

Meanwhile, MFBM Minister Lawyer Ubaida Pacasem underscored that the Government of the Day is committed to strengthening the finance and budget management in the Bangsamoro Government. He also appreciated the assistance of the World Bank in building the foundations for the MFBM.

"One of our priorities is to institutionalize the Zakat and Waqaf [and] we would like to ask for assistance in the establishment of the region’s government-owned and controlled corporations," Minister Pacasem said.

Pacasem also stressed that full implementation of the Bangsamoro Revenue Office requires a system that will fast-track the collection of taxes, fees, and charges.

"E-governance and digitalization are ongoing since it is aligned with the 12-Point Priority Agenda of BARMM. We also adhere to the National Government’s standards in digitalizing its processes," Pacasem added.

Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said digital transformation is a key part of achieving inclusive growth for all Filipinos by improving connections between governments, making government more open, and making sure bureaucracy works well.

"Rest assured that we, at the national government and the whole ICT sector, are in full support of your goal to achieve a sound, systematic, transparent, and accountable form of governance," Pangandaman said.

The DBM chief also mentioned that the Digital Transformation Roadmap aims to create one primary tool and a single source of truth for all fiscal-related transactions; promote fiscal transparency, management, and accountability in government; prevent red tape and other corruption-related activities through paperless transactions; and reduce government expenses intended for manual transactions, among others.

Moreover, the digitalization includes the adaptation of the digitized official receipt system and the event’s discussions on payment transactions, email transmissions, account management, and the verification system.

"We want to make sure that BARMM will not be left behind in all these endeavors," Pangandaman said. (BIO/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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