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DBM all set for 2023 budget submission

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
DBM all set for 2023 budget submission
In a forum yesterday of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corp. (EJAP-SMC), Budget Undersecretary Joselito Basilio said the National Expenditure Program (NEP) is ready for submission early next week.
Businessworld / File

MANILA, Philippines — Everything is set for the submission of the record P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023.

In a forum yesterday of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines-San Miguel Corp. (EJAP-SMC), Budget Undersecretary Joselito Basilio said the National Expenditure Program (NEP) is ready for submission early next week.

“Right now, it’s (budget) being printed in time for the submission to Congress on Monday,” Basilio said. “Everything is on time and things have been polished already.”

Basilio did not provide the breakdown of the record P5.268-trillion proposed budget for next year, which is 4.9 percent higher than the 2022 budget of P5.02 trillion.

In a recorded message during the EJAP-SMC event, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said budget proposals of government agencies are responsive to the expenditure directions and key sector strategies for 2023.

These are also implementation-ready, reflective of agencies’ absorptive capacity, and are aligned with the plans and priorities of the new administration.

The House and the Senate are gearing for the budget season. Both chambers of Congress are hoping for a quick approval of the first budget proposal of the Marcos administration.

Based on the schedule, the Cabinet-level Development and Budget Coordination Committee will have a briefing with legislators on Aug. 26.

The House and Senate will conduct budget deliberations per agency on their priority programs, as well as previous budget utilization, among others.

For 2023, the administration’s top budget priorities include education, health, social safety nets, infrastructure and agriculture.

Pangandaman earlier said education would continue to remain on top of the budget priorities as mandated by the Constitution.

The agriculture sector is expected to finally secure among the top allocations in next year’s budget with President Marcos also at the helm of the department.

Over the past years, the agriculture sector has ranked seventh to eighth in terms of budget prioritization.

Last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached agencies, including the National Irrigation Administration, secured P102.5 billion in total financing, the seventh largest allocation.

The DA has long been asking for higher budget allocation to ensure enough food production and to be able to compete with the deluge of imported commodities.

Budget timeline

House lawmakers are confident that the timeline they set for themselves in approving the proposed 2023 budget would be met.

House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Marikina Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo and Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Margarita Ignacia Nograles said they are hopeful the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) would smoothly pass the chamber.

Based on schedule, the NEP, precursor of the GAB, will be submitted to the House on Aug. 22.

By Sept. 30, the House will have its first recess in the 19th Congress and won’t convene until over a month later on Nov. 6.

Dalipe said they have to manage time well for the scheduling of deliberations.

“Last Congress, we were able to beat the Sept. 30 deadline, giving all members of the House time to deliberate and interpellate intelligently with all the departments. We want to give all House members the chance to scrutinize that,” he said.

The committee is planning to finish the per agency hearing by Sept. 16, which means the House plenary will have around two weeks to have the GAB approved on third and final reading before the scheduled recess. – Sheila Crisostomo

DBM

NATIONAL BUDGET

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