Drilon sponsors bill on P2-trillion 2013 budget
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Franklin Drilon sponsored on Wednesday, November 21, the P2.006-trillion budget for 2013, which he said will allow the government to boost spending for the economy.
Bulk of the 2013 budget, which is 10.5% higher than the 2012 budget, will be spent on social and economic services, said Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on finance.
"It is a budget that invests significantly in the people's capabilities by prioritizing funding for public services that provide jobs, educate the youth, ensure a healthier citizenry, and empower each Filipino to participate in nation building," he said in his sponsorship speech.
Drilon said the budget increase will be supported by the Philippines' high economic growth, which in turn will allow the government to shore up revenue collections.
The Philippine economy grew by a surprising 6.3% in the first quarter, the second-fastest in the region next to China. Officials have set a target growth of 5% to 6% for the full year.
"To support the 2013 budget, the government will raise total revenues of P1.78 trillion. It also projects a 13.8% tax effort, up from an expected 13.3% in 2012," noted Drilon.
Drilon said the Senate's General Appropriations bill introduced "no major amendments" in the House-approved bill.
"While the bill does not include the Priority Social and Economic Project Fund, a lump-sum fund newly created in the President’s Budget, the specific programs, projects and activities contained therein have been transferred back to the relevant implementing agencies," he said.
The biggest share of 34.8% of the budget will go to social services, followed by 25.5% for economic services, according to Drilon.
Debt-servicing's share will fall to 16.6% from 18.3% this year, while general public services will have a 17.3% share, and defense will get 4.5%.
Among government agencies, the Department of Education will get the largest budget, amounting to P292.7 billion, up 22.6% from P238.8 billion in 2012.
"The P54 billion increase in funding will help address shortages in education resources such as classrooms, teachers and textbooks. It will also support the department's K+12 program," Drilon explained.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will get the second-largest share in the 2013 budget, at P152.9 billion, followed by:
- the Department of National Defense (P121.6 billion); Department of the Interior and Local Government (P121.1 billion);
- Department of Agriculture (P74.1 billion);
- Department of Health (P56.8 billion);
- Department of Social Welfare and Developmetn (P56.2 billion);
- Department of Transportation and Communications (P37.1 billion);
- Department of Finance (P33.2 billion); and
- the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (P23.7 billion).