P3-T ‘continuity’ 2016 budget submitted to House
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 28, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino formally submitted yesterday his proposed P3.002-trillion “continuity” national budget for 2016 to the House of Representatives.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad turned over the five-volume proposed spending program, “Paggugol na Matuwid: Saligan ng Tuloy-Tuloy na Pag-Unlad (Prudent spending: The foundation for continuous growth)” to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other House leaders, who will start committee deliberations on the proposal on Aug. 10.

“We are still faced with the daunting tasks of sustaining the country’s upward growth and helping more Filipinos out of poverty,” Aquino said in his budget message to the House.

“We continue to face obstacles that could derail our momentum – the machinations of a powerful few to backslide to their positions of privilege, as well as our own missteps.

“Beginning today, until June 30, 2016, we must prepare the way for the next administration to build on our achievements and bring our country to a higher path of prosperity.”

Abad said the main thrust of the proposed budget is to reduce poverty and expand economic growth.

“Our proposed spending program will also help us consolidate and sustain the reforms we’ve instituted in the past five years in the pursuit of good governance,” he said.

“We set our targets high, but we were able to prove that honest and effective management of public funds leads to real benefits for our people.”

Belmonte said he welcomed the early submission of the budget as it will give lawmakers more time to scrutinize it in time for its approval and signing into law before the end of year.

“The fact that it (budget) was given to us early does not mean we’ll not do our jobs, we intend to scrutinize this carefully and do our jobs,” he said.

The proposed budget is double the budget of the past six years, from P1.541 trillion of the 2010 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to the P3.002 trillion planned for next year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

It is also 15.2 percent higher than the 2015 GAA. On the other hand, the GDP share of 19.5 percent in 2016 will take up a larger share of the economy as compared to 18.7 percent of the GDP in 2015 and 16.4 percent of the GDP (actual obligations) in 2010.

Social services will have the biggest budget allocation of P1.1059 trillion, which is 36.8 percent of the proposed budget.

Covering education, healthcare, housing and social welfare and employment, this allocation received a 16.1 percent expansion from the 2015 allocation of P952.7 billion.

Economic services took the second largest share with P829.6 billion, 27.64 percent of the proposed outlay, which had increased by 17.3 percent from its 2015 allocation of 27.13 percent.

Transport and communications infrastructure will get the bulk of the budget and bring expenditures to infrastructure to five percent of the GDP.

As such, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will receive P394.5 billion to enable the agency to complete the paving of all national arterial and secondary roads.

The Department of Education was given the biggest allocation in terms of appropriation to agencies in the executive branch at P435.9 billion, followed by the DPWH at P394.5 billion.

Other departments in the top 10 in terms of allocations are the Department of National Defense, P172.7 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P154.5 billion; Department of Health, P128.4 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development, P104.2 billion; Department of Agriculture, P93.4 billion; Department of Finance, P55.3 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications, P49.3 billion; Department of Environment and Natural Resources, P25.8 billion; and Department of Science and Technology, P18.6 billion.

Abad said the proposed budget does not contain any pork nor will it be used to prop up the administration presidential, senatorial and other candidates in the 2016 elections.

“There’s no more pork in the budget because the SC (Supreme Court) has prohibited lump sum (items). There is no such thing (pork barrel) anymore in the budget,” he said.

Abad said only three legal lump sums items are left in the budget: the proposed P38.9-billion Calamity Fund, the Contingent Fund and the Allocation to Local Governments.

“If you’re going to use this budget only in January, that’s impossible,” he said.

ABAD ACIRC BILLION BUDGET BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD CALAMITY FUND CONTINGENT FUND AND THE ALLOCATION DEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PERCENT PROPOSED
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