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PIA Press Release

Sen. Santiago wants gov't funding available online

Manila (30 November) -- As the Senate deliberates the 2011 budget, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a bill that will make information on all government funding awards, grants, contracts, and loans available and searchable on a public website.

"Government funding to entities and organizations should be a transparent process so that taxpayers will know exactly how their money is being spent," Santiago said.

Senate Bill No. 1675, also known as the Government Funding, Accountability and Transparency Act, aims to expand upon e-government management tools in releasing information on various government financial assistance and expenditures. These include grants, contracts, subgrants, subcontracts, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, purchase orders, task orders, delivery orders, and other forms of financial assistance accessible to constituents.

The website to be established under Santiago's bill will enable public access to information on the names of organizations and entities receiving government awards, including details such as the amount of the award, descriptions of the award, the location of the receiving entity and other data specified by the Department of Budget and Management. The website also aims to contain information from fiscal year 2008 onwards.

Santiago's bill also mandates that the website allow for the collection and incorporation of agency and public feedback on the data posted on it.

While she commends the Senate launching its live online video streaming of selected sessions and hearings through its official website last Wednesday, Santiago said that the same transparency through the Internet should be accorded to the national budget.

"The national budget is the single most important piece of legislation Congress deliberates on. We should use the Internet as a valuable tool in our effort in spending taxpayers' money efficiently under the watchful eye of the public. This great step to transparency begets greater accountability," Santiago said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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