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January 23, 2019


Breakfast with Ben

Breakfast with Ben is a weekly informal and casual discussion of Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno with media to talk about the latest news on the budget, economic reforms and government policies.


January 23, 2019


8:30 AM – 10:30 AM


DBM Executive Lounge, DBM, General Solano St., San Miguel, Manila


* Watch the full, unedited press conference below:

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(Editor’s note: The starting time may change due to scheduling constraints.)
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  • The Procurement Service (PS), a self-sustaining government agency under the administrative supervision of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), recorded procurement savings amounting to PhP 18.3 billion in fiscal year 2018. The PS is the central procurement arm of the government for common use supplies and materials that are used by agencies in their day-to-day operations.It also serves as a servicing agency/procurement agent of other government agencies for non-common goods, infrastructure projects, and consulting services. The PS is able to save the government billions of pesos through bulk procurement and market price monitoring and validation.

    “We are proud to report that our procurement reforms are finally bearing fruit,” said Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. In 2016, the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) issued the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Reform Law (RA 9184). Meanwhile, implementation reforms like the upgrading of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), have enabled the government to more efficiently conduct its procurement activities.

    A total of 463 procurement items for both common use and non-common use supplies, infrastructure projects, and consulting services were completed by the PS in 2018, amounting to PhP 198.8 billion.

    Procurement savings, computed by comparing actual award costs with the approved budget for the contract (ABC) or project cost estimates for foreign-assisted projects, reached PhP 18.3 billion in 2018.

    Of the total procurement savings, PhP 3.5 billion came from common use supplies and equipment. Office supplies and information technology (IT) software and licenses accounted for bulk of the procurement savings for common use supplies and equipment (refer to Table 2 for more details).

    Meanwhile, another PhP 14.7 billion in procurement savings was recorded for non-common use items and equipment. The six big-ticket agencies in terms of value for non-common use supplies procurement (summarized in Table 3) are the Department of Transportation (DOTR), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The distribution of procurement savings for non-common use items per agency is still being finalized by the Procurement Service.

    “Moving forward, the DBM and PS will continue to ensure that our people get the most out of every peso that is entrusted to the government,” said the Budget Secretary. “More so, we will make public procurement supportive of the efficient and transparent implementation of projects,” concluded Secretary Diokno.

  • In line with the Duterte administration’s commitment to advance human capital, P14.8 Billion has been allocated for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the proposed 2019 National Budget. This is almost twice the previous year’s allocation of P7.56 Billion.

    The increased budget allocation aims to promote skills-based education towards a more specialized labor market. “We have a young population with a median age of 24. By providing them with better access to education, especially skills-based training, we can make Filipino workers more agile and competitive, so much so, that it would become easier for them to find employment opportunities,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.


    Table 1 – TESDA appropriations from 2016 to 2019 (in thousand pesos)









    TESDA budget (GAA)





    Budget for major programs

    Training for Work Scholarship Program





    Private Education Student Financial Assistance





    Special Training for Employment Program






    With a budget of P2.3 Billion, TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program targets to offer 163,672 enrollees with courses in priority industries and key employment generators, such as agri-fishery, agri-business, agro-industrial, and general infrastructure, among others.

    Meanwhile, for TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program, P1.7 Billion is earmarked for community-based trainings on specific skills that will promote employment in local communities.

    Lastly, the Private Education Student Financial Assistance, another key TESDA program, will receive a P200 Million budget in 2019. This will provide financial assistance to 4,000 poor but deserving students enrolled in technical-vocational courses, and will provide assistance to private institutions in assuring a steady supply of enrollees to their course offerings.

    Notably, under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education program, P7.0 Billion will be used for the implementation of the free technical education and training in more than 50 state-run technical-vocational institutions nationwide. This is seen to benefit 203,185 students in 2019. This program also covers the provision of starter tool kits, as well as the fee for the National Competency Assessment, a test to determine whether the student has achieved the level of competency required in a specific skill.

    “We hope that our efforts of ensuring universal access to education, including technical-vocational and skills-based education, will greatly enhance our country’s economic prospects, not only through employment, but also in ensuring inclusive development,” DBM Secretary Diokno noted.


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