The Daily Manila Shimbun


DOF forming TWG to help Bangsamoro gov’t attain fiscal stability

August 25, 2019

The Department of Finance (DOF) has begun the process of forming a technical working group (TWG) with other national government agencies to assist officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in initially running their economic departments and crafting sound policies to ensure the region’s long-term fiscal stability. 

Complying with the instructions of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, DOF officials led by Undersecretaries Gil Beltran and Bayani Agabin held their  first meeting with Minister Eduard  Guerra of the Bangsamoro Ministry of Finance, Budget and Management last Thursday (Aug.8) to firm up the details on the TWG, which would also include representatives from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); Bureaus of Customs (BOC), of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Local Government Finance (BLGF); and the Commission on Audit (COA). 

Agabin said that to help set up BARMM’s finance, budget and management department, the DOF would draw up its table of organization and list down the functions of its offices, to help the Bangsamoro government adopt the structure suitable for its system of government. 

“They agreed that the DOF will give a briefing on the structure (of the finance and budget department) so that they can properly set up their own structure.  We’ll help them interface with the other departments as well,” Agabin said. 

Beltran said the DOF will also “design more briefings” on BARMM’s areas of interest in connection with fiscal management, budget management and financial planning. 

It was also agreed in the meeting that DOF and the Bangsamoro government will work together in setting up an Islamic Bank within the new autonomous region, as part of government initiatives to encourage investments and expand financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. 

The DOF co-chairs with the BARMM minister of budget, finance and management the Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board (IGBF), which is designed to address revenue imbalances and fluctuations in the regional financial needs and revenue-raising capacity of the BARMM government. 

Dominguez, in a meeting with Guerra, has committed to assist BARMM in setting up its new government, especially in handling its fiscal affairs.

Besides forming a TWG, Dominguez also directed Beltran to tap the Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) to help educate the new set of government officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on fiscal management, financial planning and budget-related matters. DMS