House OKs P2.268T budget for 2014

The House overruled an opposition lawmaker who wanted to examine the budget bill for undisclosed changes since the second reading

 

MANILA, Philippines (3rd Update) – With a 219-22 vote, the House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 22, approved on 3rd and final reading the proposed P2.268 trillion budget for 2014, an amount that is the same as what Malacañang proposed.

The 2014 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) now awaits the approval of the Senate. 

Once the proposed budget hurdles the upper chamber, it will move to the bicameral conference committee, which will reconcile conflicting provisions from the House and Senate versions. The budget will then be ratified by both chambers of Congress before it can be signed into law by the President. 

Deliberations on the proposed 2014 budget were conducted at the height of scandals regarding the alleged misuse of billions worth of lawmakers’ funds. (READ: P6.8B PDAF misused; 192 solons tagged)

Before the proposed bill was approved on committee level, House members arrived at a consensus to realign their controversial P25.2-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to 6 line agencies. (READ: Scholars, patients? DepEd, DOH get least of realigned PDAF). 

Due to the changes, lawmakers may only issue “recommendations” to the concerned departments for their constituents on “soft projects” such as scholarships and healthcare.

For “hard projects” such as infrastructure, lawmakers were required to submit their proposed projects with a cap of P24.5 million each. These projects were included as line items in the budget. (READ: New ‘pork’ rule: P24.M maximum infra per solon)

Meanwhile, the House retained lump sum appropriations for the Office of the President, including the calamity fund.

Before voting commenced, Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco complained that lawmakers only received their copies of the 2014 budget on the day of the voting. 

Tiangco said he wanted more time to examine the bill, which is composed of 3 books and more than 1,000 pages. Some solons had proposed changes to undisclosed items following the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu. 

He was overruled. House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said it had been the practice of Congress to pass the budget as soon as solons received a copy of the bill, which was always certified as urgent by the President.

In an interview after the budget was passed, Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr said he believes 95% of the GAB was already included in the National Expenditure Program, the original proposal of the executive branch for the 2014 budget, and this has already undergone enough considerations during the budget deliberations. 

Budget allocations 

The top 3 largest allocations went to the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

DepEd is set to receive a budget of P281.752 billion for 2014. Copies of the 2014 GAB distributed to House members show the amount is the same as Malacañang’s original proposal despite the allocation of additional P1.26 billion from the realigned PDAF. 

DPWH will get P207.322 billion, up from P200.266 billion while DILG will receive P100.183 billion, up from P99.595 billion. 

Here’s a summary of the changes to the proposed budget: 

AGENCIES

National Expenditure Program figures

General Appropriation Bill figures

Department allocation

   

Congress of the Philippines

10,021,591,000

10,021,592,000

Office of the President

2,790,665,000

2,790,665,000

Office of the Vice President

417,296,000

217,296,000

Department of Agrarian Reform

20,002,768,000

20,002,768,000

Department of Agriculture

69,473,867,000

68,576,751,000

Dept of Budget and Management

963,760,000

997,494,000

Department of Education

281,751,791,000

281,751,791,000

State Universities and Colleges

32,770,703,000

34,650,625,000

Department of Energy

3,259,376,000

3,259,376,000

Department of Envi & Natural Resources

19,833,652,000

23,359,621,000

Department of Finance

11,223,094,000

11,387,941,000

Department of Foreign Affairs

12,113,738,000

12,113,738,000

Department of Health

69,892,986,000

85,123,939,000

Department of Interior and Loc Govt

99,595,064,000

100,183,030,000

Department of Justice

10,693,658,000

10,693,658,000

Department of Labor and Employment

10,132,033,000

13,423,273,000

Department of National Defense

82,195,121,000

82,195,121,000

Department of Public Works & Highways

200,265,553,000

207,321,553,000

Department of Science and Tech

12,023,315,000

12,023,315,000

Department of Social Welfare & Development

78,876,694,000

84,540,929,000

Department of Tourism

1,994,061,000

1,994,061,000

Department of Trade and Industry

4,401,338,000

4,401,338,000

Department of Transportation and Communication

40,703,309,000

45,161,306,000

National Economic and Developmentt Authority

3,904,430,000

3,904,430,000

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

19,615,029,000

19,615,029,000

Joint Legilative-Executive Council

4,167,000

4,167,000

Presidential Communication Operations office

1,128,359,000

1,128,359,000

Other Executive Offices

9,611,595,000

14,949,595,000

The Judiciary

18,359,805,000

18,462,816,000

Civil Service Commission

1,213,353,000

1,213,353,000

Commission on Audit

7,969,497,000

7,969,497,000

COMELEC

2,735,051,000

2,735,321,000

Office of the Ombudsman

1,732,334,000

1,732,334,000

Commission on Human Rights

326,923,000

326,923,000

SPECIAL PURPOSE FUNDS

   

Budgetary Support to Gov’t Corp

   

Department of Agriculture

9,681,388,000

9,681,388,000

Department of Energy

9,675,800,000

9,675,800,000

Department of Finance

2,792,340,000

2,792,340,000

Department of Health

1,129,200,000

1,129,200,000

Department of Public Works and Highways

565,000,000

565,000,000

Department of Tourism

500,000,000

500,000,000

Department of Trade and Industry

459,310,000

271,443,000

Department of Transportation and Comm

344,000,000

344,000,000

National Economic Development Authority

346,806,000

346,806,000

Presidential Comm Operations Office

859,190,000

859,190,000

Other Executive Offices

19,531,724,000

19,531,724,000

BSGC- Others

13,606,000

13,606,000

Allocations to Local Gov’t Units

19,705,022,000

19,177,219,000

Calamity Fund

7,500,000,000

7,500,000,000

Contigent Fund

1,000,000,000

1,000,000,000

Dep-Ed – School building program

1,000,000,000

1,000,000,000

E-Gov’t Fund

2,478,900,000

2,478,900,000

International Commitments Fund

4,815,644,000

4,815,644,000

Misellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund

80,713,614,000

81,061,608,000

Pension and Gratuity Fund

12,049,595,2000

120,495,000,000

Priority Development Assistance Fund

25,240,000,000

 

Feasibility Studies Fund

400,000,000

400,000,000

Unprogrammed Fund

139,903,759,000

139,903,759,000

Automatic Appropriation

 

796,029,175,000

Debt-Servicing

 

440,931,000,000

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