Philippine national budget

‘Fine Christmas gift’: Marcos signs P5.2-trillion 2023 budget 

Bea Cupin

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‘Fine Christmas gift’: Marcos signs P5.2-trillion 2023 budget 

SIGNED. Philippines President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr waits for U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, on November 21, 2022.

Haiyun Jiang/Pool via Reuters

Malacañang has yet to release the full version of the law as signed by the President

MANILA, Philippines – Just as promised by his allies and relatives in Congress, and as hoped for by his budget chief, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed on Friday, December 16, the 2023 General Appropriations Act or the budget for the upcoming year

At P5.2 trillion, it is the biggest budget for the Philippine government to date. According to the Marcos administration, the 2023 budget will fund its “recovery plan next year as the country emerges from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“I have been greeted by many of you as we had our pictures taken. Merry Christmas. Well, I will have, I suppose, a Merry Christmas because this is as fine a Christmas gift as can be received by any president from his legislature,” said Marcos in a short speech following the signing of the law at Malacañang Palace. Legislators, business leaders, and Palace officials were among those who graced the event. 

In his speech, Marcos highlighted his cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Senate President Miguel Zubiri’s “continued” reminder that the 2023 budget was the fastest to pass through Congress. 

The 2023 budget bill was approved by both chambers of Congress on December 5, after it went through a bicameral committee. 

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The budget, said Marcos, defines the “roadmap” of his administration’s plans. 

“It is always an important day when we sign into law the General Appropriations Act. It is always very important that the GAA has been put together in consonance with all of the plans of the executive. And that kind of coordination and that kind of synergy that we will gain from that is going to be an essential part of the way that we move forward,” added Marcos. 

The Palace has, thus far, not released the full version of the law as signed by the President, including any provisions he may have vetoed. – 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.