MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte approved the 2018 national budget proposed by the Department of Budget and Management on Tuesday, July 3, during the 16th Cabinet meeting.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed this in a message on Wednesday, July 4.
“Yes, he did [approve it]. I’m finalizing it now so he can submit the President’s Budget on the day of his SONA (State of the Nation Address), July 24th,” Diokno said.
The 2018 budget totals P3.767 trillion, according to Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. This is 12.4% higher than the 2017 national budget and is 21.6% of the gross domestic product.
“It’s a budget that reforms and transforms,” said Abella during a Wednesday Palace briefing.
Based on discussions at the Cabinet meeting, the departments to get the highest allocations are the following:
- Department of Education, schools, universities, and colleges and Commission on Higher Education
- Department of Public Works and Highways
- Department of the Interior and Local Government
- Department of Health
- Department of Agriculture
- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources
According to expense class, the allocations are as follows:
- Local government units – 16%
- Government-owned and controlled corporations – 4.5%
- Infrastructure and capital outlays – 25.4%
- Personnel services – 29.4%
- Maintenance – 14.5%
- Debt burden – 9.8%
The priorities of the budget framework, said Abella, include the enhancement of the “social fabric” to ensure “the entire budget is spent [on] being people-centered, fair, just, and value-based.”
It also aims to reduce inequality, increase growth, and maintain foundations for sustainable development. – Rappler.com