Title of Productivity and Innovation Initiative
Cagayan de Oro Electronic Budget System
City Government of Cagayan de Oro
Management for Productivity, Quality and Agility, and Digitization & New Technologies
The Electronic Budget System (e-Budget System) is an automation tool used by duly authorized LGU personnel to manage the financial resources of the City Government of Cagayan de Oro. It is an online web-based application that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. The system collects and organizes financial information from a central database and integrates budget and payments management with accounting, fiscal reporting, receipt, and cash management under the city’s accounting and finance departments.
Background and Problem
Before the e-Budget System, the Cagayan de Oro LGU used an obligations and expenditures system, which could not generate the reportorial requirements of the City Budget Office. Consolidating financial reports was time-consuming, and the assigned staff had to render overtime work to meet deadlines. Requests for obligation were encoded, and offices should verify their remaining budget before payment processing. Also, obligation requests were monitored manually using log books which caused delays and errors.
Furthermore, manual recording of obligation requests was prone to misreporting and wrong posting. Moreover, data reconciliation usually takes time since hard copies are physically retrieved. After an audit, the remaining obligated amount is not automatically reflected in the concerned office’s budget. Approved disbursement vouchers for cheque issuance were manually recorded by writing on the ledgers, which can be prone to double reporting and deficiencies. Because of this, no real-time summary of issued cheques can be generated. Office liaisons from the LGU’s other departments should also personally visit the financial offices to follow up on requests, which was cumbersome and time-consuming.
Solution and Impact
The Budget Office initiated the e-Budget System through the support of the Management Information System Office. It provides a sustainable resource planning solution that is flexible, adaptable, and extensible. The first functional and operational release came out in July 2017, with the main processor of the Budget Office in charge of managing the data and establishing the protocols for accountability. It provides a sustainable resource planning solution that is flexible, adaptable, and extensible. Automating financial controls makes it easier to process transactions, manage records, and generate reports since data is kept in just one system. This results in properly monitoring expenditures from an obligation request to cheque issuance.
The system also serves as an end-to-end budget management tool for the preparation, proposal, authorization, appropriation, execution, request, release, and payment. Currently, budget proposals are centrally encoded by the Budget Office. However, they can be delegated to proponent offices for easier budget consolidation in the future. The Annual Investment Plan is also planned to be included in the next system development.
When it was first implemented, the system was met with resistance since some employees were not familiar with using the application or had not experienced using a computer before. This was addressed by the conduct of training and feedback sessions. The user’s needs were prioritized and eventually included in improving the system, making it far more efficient than the previous workflow.
The e-Budget System was started in October 2016. The initial budget management module came out one year later, which can perform budget allocation, financial plan, release, and obligation requests. At that time, the obligation requests are created by the Budget Office. As a result, the Statement of Appropriations, Allotment, Obligations, and Balances (SAAOB) report can be generated within minutes.
To further devolve the process, all offices with budget allocations were given access to the system in January 2018. These offices can now view their budget balance online and prepare and print their obligation request form. The Budget Office will just have to validate the submitted obligation entries. In March of the same year, the Accounting Office was given access to perform the fund control function to revert the remaining balances to the concerned office’s budget in real-time. Another feature was added in October that enables tax deduction and reporting to applicable transactions and suppliers. Finally, in December of that year, the e-Budget System was integrated with the Treasury Management System, which displays the audited amount and makes it available for cheque preparation and quickly retrieves the cheque transaction list.
A new module was introduced in February 2019 to record employee cash advances. It automatically alerts concerned employees through SMS and email to liquidate their outstanding advances immediately. In July, the General Services Office was granted access to the system to generate disbursement vouchers to purchase or pay for capital assets, infrastructure, and diverse supplies for office, medical, and utility use.
Because of its expanded features, the CDO e-Budget System was awarded 2nd Best in the e-Gov Inter-Operability Empowerment Category of the 2019 Digital Governance Awards held on 26 November 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center, which was organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines.
In July 2020, all LGU offices and national government agencies with an allocated budget by the City Government were provided access to the budget preparation feature. Proponents can now encode their office’s budget proposals, making data consolidation much easier.
The e-Budget System will continue to improve in the future with additional features through the support of its development team and other offices. By 2025, their target is to establish a Comprehensive Financial Management System that can be used by the local government and its 80 component barangays.
“I am confident enough about the budget data because of the efficiency the system ensures.”– Guiney Molawan, Administrative Aide II, City Finance Department, City Government of Cagayan de Oro.
“We get to monitor the status of our Obligation Request in real-time. Also, system assistance is provided promptly.”– Junefay Sinomio, Administrative Officer IV, Human Resource Management Office, City Government of Cagayan de Oro.
“Monitoring our accounts is much easier. This improves our office’s strategic plans in ensuring that all our services are being delivered to our clients. Also, we can track the status of our obligation requests. The E-budget System was indeed a very helpful tool in our financial management. The automation made our job easier.”– Clarita Tonido, Day Care Worker II, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Government of Cagayan de Oro.
“e-Budget System makes everything easy. We can easily monitor the budget of different departments.”– Ana Rowena Cagadas, Administrative Officer IV, City Budget Office, City Government of Cagayan de Oro.
Department of Information and Communications Technology. (2019, November 28). DICT, DILG, NICP award LGUs’ outstanding digital initiatives. Retrieved from: https://dict.gov.ph/dict-dilg-nicp-award-lgus-outstanding-digital-initiatives/
Orias, P.J. (2019, November 27). City Government bags two digital awards. SunStar. https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1833889/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/cagayan-de-oro-city-government-bags-2-digital-awards
iFM Cagayan de Oro. (2020, April 28). Breakdown sa nagasto sa CDO City Government kabahin sa COVID-19 measures. [Link with thumbnail attached] [Status update]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/99.1iFMCDO/posts/basi-ni-city-budget-officer-atty-percy-salazar-ao-kini-ang-breakdown-sa-nagasto-/3430151983733384/