THE Department of Budget and Management is seeking to bring its Open Government Partnership, which seeks to broaden public participation in the budgeting process, to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“(BARMM) has a new government… It would be nice to reach out for them (to) push for citizen participation,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a webinar on Wednesday.

Assistant Budget Secretary Rolando U. Toledo said that the open government approach provides “opportunities for citizens and the civil society to interact with government and enable collaborative partnerships.”

Mr. Toledo noted that participatory budgeting promotes “genuine involvement of grassroots organizations and communities to (immerse) in participatory planning and budgeting processes.”

“It also ensures that citizens can propose programs based on their needs on the ground, especially as we are reinforcing the decentralization process,” he said.

“Without citizen participation, it would not be possible to render reports that are reliable and transparent. This is all towards good governance and prudent use of resources,” Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Ester A. Aldana added.

Ms. Pangandaman also noted the importance of digitalization in the open government approach.

“Digitalization will definitely promote transparency. It’s easy to see transactions in local government units and even the National Government,” she said.

She also said that digitalization will help streamline processes and make transactions easier for everyone. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson