2017 budget will be responsive to Filipinos’ needs – Nograles


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2017 budget will be responsive to Filipinos’ needs – Nograles
Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles says he expects legislators to support a budget that will respond to the needs of Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is looking forward to the submission of the national budget proposal for 2017, which will be responsive to the needs of Filipinos, said Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles. 

The budget proposal by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the first under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, will pave the way for budget hearings.

The hearings, set to start on August 22 at the House, will focus on priority projects and programs of the government for 2017.

Nograles, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said that the hearings will allow legislators to scrutinize each government agency’s proposed budget.

“Being the first budget of President Duterte, we will immediately get a glimpse of the priority projects and programs that he wants his administration to focus on to actualize the change that the President wants to bring in to this new administration,” the lawmaker explained. 

The proposed 2017 national budget is pegged at P3.35 trillion ($75.1 billion), according to the DBM, or 11.6% higher than 2016’s P3.002 trillion ($64.4 billion).

Nograles also reiterated that the House aims to finish all budget hearings and pass the budget on time.

“We are pressed for time,” he said. “We’ve always shown to the Filipino people that when the times call for it, when we need to step up, when we need to work overtime, we do it.”

For Duterte’s promises 

Nograles added that he expects all legislators to be “supportive in creating and legislating a budget that will respond to the needs” of Filipinos.

“[Budget] Secretary Benjamin Diokno and I have agreed that we must work to pass a budget that would be responsive to the needs of the people,” he said. “We also agreed that there will be no reenacted budget.”

Diokno earlier said that the budgets for 2017 until 2022 aim to support Duterte’s promises regarding the country’s infrastructure, human resources, agriculture, and rural development.

For 2017, in fact, the government plans to spend almost P900 million ($19.3 million) for public infrastructure alone. These projects range from small to large-scale.

“The next 6 years will be the golden age of Philippine construction, both public and private,” Diokno said on July 20.

Aside from infrastructure, the Duterte administration has said it will boost education and health care. – Rappler.com

$1 = P47

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