'P2-T budget will spur economic and social growth'

MANILA, Philippines - The proposed P2 trillion national budget for 2013 is necessary to spur economic growth with social equity in the country, Rep. Winston Castelo said on Sunday, July 15.

Castelo, Liberal Party congressman for the 2nd District of Quezon City, noted the budgetary raise "is expected to impact more on the poor."

“As the embodiment of the country’s explicit and implicit policies, the envisioned P2 trillion national budget for 2013 shows the overall policy shift to sustained economic growth with emphasis on social equity,” he said in a statement.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. announced a month ago that the proposed 2013 national budget would hit for the first time the P2-trillion mark, 11.1% up from 2012. (Read: Abad: 2013 budget to hit P2 trillion)

The 2013 national budget, according to Abad, will be funded by revenues and only 2% by debt, a major policy shift from the hey domestic borrowing of the past.

The Budget Secretary also said that the P2 trillion will help pump the national economy and sustain economic growth.
Castelo lauded the plan and the fact that foreign funds and investment are not included in it.

More spending on infrastructure and social services

The congressman is particularly satisfied with the increase in spending for infrastructure projects and social services, which in his opinion can boost employment.

“Infrastructure spending promotes massive employment, while heavy expenditures for social services mean that the poor and downtrodden would enjoy the fruits of government spending and economic growth,” Castelo said.

The lawmaker also noted that the planned 20% increase in the socialized healthcare Conditional Fund Transfer (CCT) for the country's 20 percent of the nation’s “poorest of the poor” households can have a tremendous impact to alleviate mass poverty and extend social services to them.

Some of the infrastructure projects being eyed are arterial national roads, which should be finished in 2014, improved spendings in agriculture, and rice self-sufficiency by next year. - Rappler.com