MalacaAang seeks P3.8-T budget for 2018

MANILA-- MalacaAang on Tuesday said that it will be seeking a PHP3.767 trillion national budget for next year.

At a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the proposed 2018 budget is 12.4 percent higher than the PHP3.35 trillion budget for 2017 and represents 21.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The Palace official said that according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) which prepared the report, it is a budget that reforms and transforms.

It covers medium-term macroeconomic assumptions and fiscal targets, key budget dimensions and expenditure priorities.

"The budget aims for a safer, greener, wealthier, and more beautiful country, making space for the youth, the poor, disadvantaged, and handicapped," he said citing Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

According to Abella, the Department of Education (DepED) -- including state universities and colleges (SUCs) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) -- gets the highest allocation.

It is followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

By expense class allocation, local government units (LGUs) will receive 16 percent; government-owned- and �controlled corporations (GOCCs) will receive 4.5 percent; infra and capital outlays get 25.4 percent; personnel services will receive 29.4 percent; maintenance will receive 14.5 percent; and 9.8 percent is allocated for debt burden.

"The priorities of the budget framework are to enhance the social fabric to make sure that the entire budget is spent to make and being people-centered, fair, just, and value-based; to reduce inequality; to increase growth potential; and to maintain foundations for sustainable development," Abella said.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to submit the proposed budget immediately after his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 before a joint session of Congress.

Source: Philippines News Agency