Saturday, December 3Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, publicist and social media specialist
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Got an invite to attend a forum on the 2011 National Expenditure Program

I must say that it was a surprise – a nice one at that, I suppose – to receive an invitation to attend a forum on the 2011 National Expenditure Program. I received the invite from Mindanaoan Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III‘s office. Guingona is the convenor of the Open Budget Partnership (OBP). As to what the Open Budget Partnership is, I seriously don’t have any idea so don’t ask. However, I’m hoping I will understand it better on Saturday, the day of the forum. The event will be held in Manila, by the way.

Let me just say, before anything else, that I’m grateful for the invitation. This is a good step forward especially for the government to bring in not only members of the traditional media but those involved in the new media as well. Although I do have plans of writing news articles related to the forum for various newspapers, a more extensive coverage will be done not only through this Mindanaoan site but through my social networking sites as well.

So if you’re interested to follow updates with regard to Saturday’s 2011 National Expenditure Program forum, you may want to follow me on Twitter and on Plurk. You can also check out my official Facebook Page.

Anyway, according to a copy of the program, there will be quite a number of “name-droppables” during the forum. An overview of the 2011 National Government Budget will be presented by Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad. There will also be an open forum, a signing ceremony for the OBP, a mini press conference and round table discussions. Of course, Senator TG Guingona III will be there, along with Senator Franklin Drilon, Professor Leonor Briones of Social Watch, Malou Mangahas of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Congressman Joseph Abaya and many others.

Truth be told, I’m looking forward to this event. I think it’ll provide a great opportunity for stakeholders to fully understand the 2011 National Expenditure Program – which, by the way, will work around a whopping P1.645 Trillion. Yes, that’s a “T.”

Come to think of it – what do ordinary Filipinos really know about the national budget and how it’s being spent?

I’ll be honest — I myself have very little knowledge about the Philippine national budget — so the forum will provide so much learning for me and hopefully for my readers, too.

What I’m also pretty interested about are the simultaneous roundtable discussions. There will be 4 groups – agriculture, education, health and environment/climate change. Each roundtable discussion will be facilitated by 3 or 4 expert-stakeholders.

Which reminds me…if any of you have any question/s at all pertaining to the budget or to any of the updates I’ll be posting by Saturday, please feel free to leave them below at the comments section or send them via Twitter or Plurk. I’ll do my best to have them answered.

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