Half of P5.24-trillion budget for 2023 for infrastructure, health projects – DBM

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — About half of the record P5.24 trillion budget for 2023 will go to new projects on infrastructure buildup and health upgrade to support pandemic recovery, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Under National Budget Memorandum 143, the agency said that funding priority would be extended to health-related expenditures, disaster risk management, social security, digital economy and local government support as required by the pandemic.

The department said that the budgetary support would be allocated into growth projects such as infrastructure works that could contribute to economic rebuilding from the impact of the health crisis.

The economic team plans to submit an all-time high expenditure plan of P5.24 trillion for 2023.

Nearly half of P2.79 trillion would fund tier one projects including ongoing programs and activities, while tier two projects such as new and expanded undertakings would get the remaining P2.45 trillion.

For tier two proposals, the DBM asked national agencies to consider Executive Order 166 adopting the 10-point policy agenda for pandemic recovery.

The DBM added that the infrastructure and human capital development is taking the front seat in budget priority for 2023, as the government tries to balance the security of lives and livelihoods in reopening the economy.

The Budget department added that infrastructure development should resume to its pre-pandemic pace after hitting multiple delays in 2020 and 2021 due to the spread of new variants and shift to lockdowns.

Infrastructure spending is projected to hit P1.29 trillion, or 5.5 percent of the economy in 2023, from a program of P1.27 trillion or 5.9 percent of the economy this year.

The DBM also said human capital development should be improved in response to the declining state of education, health and nutrition.

The human capital index score of the Philippines slid to 0.52 in 2020 from 0.55 in 2018, signaling that the future productivity of the average Filipino may fall below his/her potential.

According to the DBM , priority funding would also be given to projects on food safety and security; climate and disaster risk resilience; enterprise development; and science, technology and innovation.

In line with the Mandanas ruling, the DBM said only fifth and sixth income class municipalities will be allowed to avail of budget support from the national government.

The Mandanas ruling mandated the national government to increase the tax share of localities, who, in exchange, will take on the responsibility of managing their public services.

As a protocol, the DBM reminded state agencies that projects worth at least P2.5 billion have to be reviewed by the Cabinet-level Investment Coordination Committee.


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