Duterte approves P4.1-T national budget proposal for 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration is now gunning for a national budget of P4.1 trillion in 2020.

President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet approved the national budget proposal prepared by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) during the monthly Cabinet meeting on Monday, August 5.

The proposed 2020 budget is 12% higher than the 2019 national budget of P3.662 trillion. (READ: Winners and losers under Duterte's 2019 budget)

The DBM aims to submit to Congress the proposed 2020 National Expenditure Program before the August 21 deadline.

The budget will then undergo the scrutiny of the newly-convened 18th Congress, then sent to Duterte's desk for approval.

"This budget proposal is designed to respond to the needs of the majority of our countrymen longing to be uprooted from decades of want of basic necessities, inadequate supply of basic services, lack of infrastructures required to spur economic growth, absence of accountability on government coffers, vexing bureaucratic rigmarole, deprived education and unchanged poverty," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Tuesday, August 6.

As in previous years, the Department of Education has been allocated the largest slice of the pie, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. Also getting big allocations are the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health.

Panelo gave assurances that the funds will be "spent wisely" in order to create a "vibrant economy that will be felt by the citizenry."

Newly-named Acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado was present at the Cabinet meeting, as well as Undersecretary Janet Abuel who helmed the department while the 2020 budget proposal was being prepared. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.