Duterte’s economic team proposes P4.64-trillion budget for 2021

Ralf Rivas

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Duterte’s economic team proposes P4.64-trillion budget for 2021
Universal health care, anti-poverty measures, climate change, and the peace process are among the government's priorities for 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) proposed a national budget of P4.64 trillion for 2021 to support the government’s anti-poverty and peace-sustaining measures.

On Wednesday, December 11, the DBCC said the proposed budget is 13.3% or P540 billion higher than the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020, which Congress just approved.

The proposed 2021 budget is 20.2% of the country’s estimated gross domestic product (GDP).

It will prioritize the following programs:

  • universal health care
  • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
  • rice tariffication law
  • provision for the annual block grant, special development fund, and share in national taxes of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao 
  • Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education
  • refocusing of national government assistance to local governments with high poverty incidence
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation measures

We are committed to building a more effective and competitive economy, one that will provide good jobs to our workers, improve the living conditions of the poor, and create more opportunities for all Filipinos,” the DBCC said.

Like the 2019 and 2020 budgets, the 2021 budget will be cash-based. This means all government agencies are required to use their budget allocations for a certain year within that same fiscal year, or else any amount left over would revert to the National Treasury.

The aim is to push agencies to better spend or use their resources. (READ: What is cash-based budgeting?)

Fiscal program

The DBCC projects revenue collections to hit P3.15 trillion in 2019, 16.8% of GDP. Disbursements are targeted to hit P3.76 billion, which is 20% of GDP.

For 2020, revenues are projected to rise to P3.49 trillion or 16.6% of GDP, while disbursements are programmed at P4.16 trillion or 19.8% of GDP.

Revenue disbursement projections are estimated to rise to P4.31 trillion (17% of GDP) and P5.12 trillion (20.2% of GDP) by 2021 and 2022.

Given the revenue and disbursement program, the deficit target was maintained at 3.2% of GDP from 2019 to 2022.

To finance the government’s plans, the economic team is banking on the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program to deliver a strong revenue base.

“The speedy passage of the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act will help attract additional investment into the country and the alcohol and e-cigarette excise tax adjustments will substantially bridge the funding gap for the Universal Health Care program,” the DBCC said. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.