MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III signed into law a P1.816 trillion budget for 2012, more than 10 percent higher than the allocation for 2011.
Over a third of the budget goes to social services, followed by economic services which accounts for close to one-fourth, debt burden which covers close to a fifth, general public services which accounts for 18.6%, and defense (6.3%).
The national budget for 2012 is the earliest government appropriations law approved since 1986.
“Ang pera ninyo ay gugugulin para sa inyong kapakanan; ang bawat piso nito ay handa naming panagutan; kayo pa rin po ang aming mga Boss,” President Aquino declared in his speech at the budget signing ceremonies at the Palace Rizal Hall.
Among government agencies, the Education department gets the largest allocation of P238.8 billion, followed by Public Works and Highways, P125.7 billion; Defense, P108.1 billion; Interior and Local Government, P99.8 billion; and Agriculture, P53.3 billion.
The President also said that the administration’s agenda had been clear since the beginning: progress for the majority and social justice.
“We are assuring you now: as soon as 2012 begins, we would speed up the implementation of programs and projects funded in our national budget,” he said.
The 2012 budget provides for the following: social services (P568.6 billion), economic services (P438.8 billion); debt burden (P356.1 billion); general public services (P338.1 billion); and defense (P114.4 billion).
Besides education, public works, defense, local government and agriculture, the other top recipients are the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P48.9 billion; Department of Health, P44.4 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications, P34.7 billion; Department of Agrarian Reform P18.3 billion; and the Judiciary, P15.7 billion.
The 2012 budget will be supported by a revenue collection program of P1.545 trillion, equivalent to 14.2% of the gross domestic product.
Among the major allocations of the 2012 budget are: anti-corruption, transparent, accountable and participatory governance; poverty reduction empowerment of the poor and vulnerable; rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth; just and lasting peace and the rule of law; and integrity of the environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
President Aquino also said that there would be more funds for infrastructure development that would support economic growth and create jobs.
As of end November, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that a total of P1.53 trillion in allotments had already been released. This is equivalent to 93.2% of the P1.645 trillion budget for 2011 and 12% higher than the P1.38 trillion allotments issued in the same period last year.
Of the P1.53 trillion released, 59% went to various national government agencies, 20% to local government units (LGUs), and 5.6% to government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). The remaining balance of 15.4% represents interest payments.
As of November 30, Congress, the judiciary, the Commission on Elections, the budget department, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Human Rights, are among the recipients of their complete budget allocations for 2011. – Rappler.com