Palace submits to House a budget heavy on social services

The biggest chunk – P842.8 B – of the proposed 2014 budget goes to social services sector. The CCT program expands to include high school students.

FUNDS. Budget Secretary Butch Abad submits the proposed 2014 budget to Speaker Sonny Belmonte. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang submitted to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 23, the proposed 2014 budget, a spending program that’s heavy on social services.

The biggest share in the proposed P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014 – 37.2% of it – will go to the social services sector due to the expansion of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to include high school students. 

At P842.8 billion, the allocation being eyed for social services is 20.5% higher than this year’s. 

The proposed P2.268-trillion budget for 2014 is 13.1% higher than this year’s P2.006-trillion budget. 

If broken down by sectoral spending, then the proposed budget will look like this: 

  • Social services – P842.8 billion 
  • Economic services – P590.2 billion 
  • General public services – P364.5 billion 
  • Debt services – P352.7 billion
  • Defense – P92.9 billion

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said they are introducing a new format for the national budget. Applying a “performance-informed budgeting mechanism,” the 2014 General Appropriations Act will not only include programs and costs but also the purpose of the funds, as well as their intended outputs and outcomes. 

“We note that the budget for this year (2014) will show the mandates of the agencies, their objectives and key resort areas, outputs and outcomes,” Abad said. 

The House of Representatives hopes to pass the budget by the end of the year. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte earlier said he intends to continue the House’s track record in recent years of passing the budget on time. 

Proposed allocations 

INCREASE. Photo of the budget primer released by the DBM. Photo by Rappler

For 2014, the following departments are expected to get the highest allocations: 

  • Deparment of Education (DepEd) – 336.9 billion 
  • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – 213.5 billion
  • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – 135.4 billion
  • Department of National Defense (DND) – 123.1 billion
  • Department of Health (DOH) – 87.1 billion
  • Department of Agriculture (DA) – 80.7 billion
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – 79 billion
  • Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) – 48.7 billion
  • Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – 23.9 billion
  • Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – 20.4 billion

In his budget message, President Benigno Aquino III said the budget was designed based on the framework of “inclusive development.” 

“The framework of Inclusive Development eschews the fallacy of ‘trickle down,’ for it is about promoting the equalization of opportunities for all, regardless of their life circumstances,” Aquino said. 


New budget releasing system

Abad said the budget department is proposing to enforce a new system of releasing the budget next year. 

Each government agency’s budget matrix will serve as their release document, especially for items already listed under an agency’s approved funding. 

“That’s why we have taken pains for agencies to submit all their budgets,” Abad said. 

The executive department arrived at an initial budget proposal a week ago after a 10-hour meeting with cabinet members

A new payroll system is also being eyed. 

In an effort to make the payroll system for government agencies more efficient, Abad said the salaries of government employees will no longer be devolved to their respective agencies but released directly from the treasury to their bank accounts. – Rappler.com

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