2017 budget priorities: Infrastructure, agriculture, peace and order
MANILA, Philippines – The first national budget proposed by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte showed that it is prioritizing infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, as well as peace and order.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Monday, August 15, submitted to the House of Representatives the proposed P3.35-trillion ($71.97 billion) 2017 national budget, the highest proposed by any administration so far.
This marks the beginning of Congress’ months-long deliberations on the proposed national budget, which the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte dubbed as “A Budget for Real Change.” (READ: 2017 budget will be responsive to people's needs – Nograles)
The figure is 11.6% higher than the 2016 budget and represents 21% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017.
“I can characterize it as saying we’re putting our money where our mouth is. This budget is consistent with President Duterte’s 10-point agenda. It is a transparent agenda,” said Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
From P758.4 billion ($16.29 billion) in 2016, budget for public infrastructure has increase to P860.7 billion ($18.49 billion) or about 5.4% of the GDP. Agriculture and rural development will be allotted P120.5 billion ($2.59 billion).
The Duterte administration, which has declared a war on drugs and crime, also wants to give P206.6 billion ($4.44 billion) for public order and safety.
"My government will double or even triple its efforts to bring drug pushers and crime syndicates behind bars as well as put a stop to terrorism," said Duterte in his budget message sent to reporters.
The Philippine National Police gets P110.4 billion ($2.37 billion) to hire 10,000 police officers, acquire more guns and patrol vehicles, and finance other activities “for more effective crime suppression.”
The Armed Forces of the Philippines also gets P130.6 billion ($2.81 billion) to intensify its counter-terrorism efforts.
The judiciary is allotted P32.5 billion ($698.18 million), equivalent to an increase of 21.5% from 2016. Congress, meanwhile, gets P14.13 billion.
In terms of sectoral allocations, social services get the biggest chunk of the budget at P1.35 trillion ($28.89 billion), followed by economic services at P923.95 billion ($19.85 billion).
General public services – which include allocations for general administration, public order and safety, other general public services, and subsidies to local government units (LGUs) – are to be given P581.84 billion ($12.5 billion). Defense gets P147.76 billion ($3.17 billion).
Like in the previous administration, the Department of Education (DepEd) gets the highest budget among all departments at P567.56 billion ($12.19 billion).
Below is the DBM's disaggregation of the 2017 budget:
Expenditure program by sector (in million pesos)
|General Public Services||497,975||581,835||16.59||17.37|
|Department of Education||P567,561,234,000|
|Department of Public Works and Highways||P458,610,024,000|
|Department of Interior and Local Government||P150,050,343,000|
|Department of National Defense||P134,542,458,000|
|Department of Social Welfare and Development||P129,911,926,000|
|Department of Health||P94,046,379,000|
|State universities and colleges||P58,811,968,000|
|Department of Transportation||P55,478,192,000|
|Department of Agriculture||P45,291,218,000|
|Department of Environment and Natural Resources||P29,370,429,000|
|Department of Finance||P22,965,314,000|
Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles, chairperson of the House committee on appropriations, reiterated that Congress would pass the budget right on schedule.
“The House of Representatives will not falter in its role in enacting a 2017 budget on time. And with the Speaker [Pantaleon Alvarez’s] support and with the Majority Floor Leader [Rudy Fariñas], and all the members of the supermajority, including the minority, I’m confident that together, as we play our roles as representatives of the people, we will pass a budget that we can all be proud of,” said Nograles.
The House committee on appropriations begins its hearings on August 22. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P46.55