MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday night, July 10, approved a P2.268-trillion budget for 2014, to be sent to Congress when it opens later this month, Budget Secretary Butch Abad told Rappler in a text message.
This amount, however, is “subject to some minor adjustments,” Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said.
“The thrust remains inclusive growth. We are enhancing social protections and creating opportunities for employment by focusing on job generating sectors like manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others,” Carandang explained.
Abad said the Cabinent finished its budget deliberations at 10:30 pm on Wednesday.
Aquino closely scrutinized the budget, according to Carandang, “because he wants to make sure that taxpayers’ money is being spent properly and efficiently.”
“This kind of scrutiny and attention is what has allowed us to increase spending without raising taxes, and even enhance our fiscal space and earn us those credit rating upgrades,” he said.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas compared their budget deliberations to a “thesis defense.”
“We are moving into performance-informed budgeting, so PNoy was asking a lot of questions regarding outputs and outcomes and corresponding budgets,” Abad previously said. “He was exacting and rigorous.”
The proposed budget will be submitted by the President to Congress when session opens on July 22, after he delivers his State of the Nation Address. It will be up to House of Representatives and the Senate to finalize the items and submit the General Appropriations Act back to the President for signing. – Rappler.com