Of the P3.757 trillion cash-based 2019 budget, the DBM said the education sector will receive the highest allocation amounting to P659.3 billion.
Miguel de Guzman
Education, infrastructure get highest budget for 2019
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - July 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Education and infrastructure agencies will continue to get the highest budget allocations in 2019 in line with the Duterte administration’s thrust to address public infrastructure and improve human capital development, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Of the P3.757 trillion cash-based 2019 budget, the DBM said the education sector will receive the highest allocation amounting to P659.3 billion.

The amount, which is P72.2 billion or 12.3 percent higher than the cash-based equivalent in the 2018 budget, is comprised of the budgets of the Department of Education, state universities and colleges, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) followed which has an allocation of P555.7 billion for next year, 68.3 percent higher than the cash-based equivalent of P330.1 billion this year.

“We are sticking to our plan of focusing on Build Build Build and social services. These are the priorities we identified as early as the beginning of our term, and we will see to it that investments on these sectors are sustained,” he said.

According to the budget chief, higher investments on infrastructure will create jobs and spur opportunities in the countryside, thus supporting economic growth which is targeted to reach seven to eight percent in 2019.

“Spending for human capital, such as education, healthcare and social protection, will mold the country’s young population into a world-class and competent workforce capable of sustaining the Philippine’s growth momentum,” Diokno said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government is proposing to receive the third highest allocation amounting to P225.6 billion next year. The DBM said this is P53.3 billion or 30.9 percent higher than the agency’s cash-based appropriation in 2018.

“The bigger allocation will strengthen local governance and support the public safety initiatives of the government,” the DBM said.

Fourth on the list is the Department of National Defense with a budget of P183.4 billion, an increase of 34.4 percent from this year’s level of P136.5 billion.

The cash allocation for social welfare – composed of the budgets of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the unconditional cash transfer under the Land Bank of the Philippines – also rose 5.4 percent to P173.3 billion.

Combining the budgets of the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., the allocation for health will reach P141.4 billion in 2019. The DBM said this was 8.9 percent lower than the 2018 budget due to a significant cut in the Health Facilities Enhancement Program to give way to implementation-ready projects.

The Department of Transportation’s 2019 budget is also proposed at P76.1 billion, higher by 89.3 percent from this year’s P40.2 billion.

The Department of Agriculture also has a proposed budget of P49.8 billion, higher by P9.1 billion or 22.4 percent, while the Judiciary and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will have a budget of P37.3 billion and P32.3 billion, respectively.

By sector allocation, social services accounted for 36.7 percent of the 2019 national budget with appropriations reaching P1.377 trillion.

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