MANILA- In its continuing drive to implement budget innovation and reforms, the Department of Budget and Management has introduced new features on the electronic Transparency and Accountability Initiative for Lump Sum Funds (e-TAILS) website (http://pdaf.dbm.gov.ph), installing a feedback mechanism to monitor and report on the spending of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) allocated to lawmakers.

Launched in 2011, e-TAILS keeps track of use of PDAF by showing information on the breakdown of releases to legislators, where and when the funds were released, the projects that a legislator endorsed for PDAF support, as well as the project beneficiaries.

The DBM said the new features allow citizens to download the yearly report of PDAF releases, post comments and upload photos or videos as feedback on PDAF-funded projects, as well as find key information on how PDAF works.

“The rationale behind the e-TAILS website is to make sure that information on PDAF releases and the projects they support are presented in an accurate and user-friendly platform, so that the public can gain quick access to PDAF information and give feedback on the projects endorsed by legislators.

With its new features, the eTAILS website strengthens the DBM’s commitment to increase citizen awareness and engagement, specifically with respect to PDAF use and management,” DBM Undersecretary and Chief Information Officer Richard Moya said.

“Although the new features are already up and running, we’re continually improving the site post-launch so it better responds to the needs of those who visit it,” he added.

According to Moya, citizens can now click on a specific project and post a comment using their Facebook account, or post a photo or video to show the implementation status and result of ;PDAF-supportec projects. The homepage also leads site visitors to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on PDAF, besides featuring a step-by-step guide in navigating the new features on the website.

“We’re keeping pace with an audience that uses the internet as their main information resource. More important, however, is the fact that we’re also giving concerned citizens an interactive online venue where they can give honest feedback on PDAF projects,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

“Altogether, e-TAILS has been improved to empower the Filipino people by giving them easier access to information. This is also a very well-timed development, given the growing clamor for better transparency and accountability in government, a call that the Aquino administration is responding to by creating spaces for dialogue and public participation in the budget process,” he added. (PNA)