Speaker Belmonte leads House members in receivingPhp2.606-T proposed 2015 national budget

July 31, 2014 9:57 am 

MANILA, July 30 — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led Wednesday leaders and members of the House of Representatives in receiving the printed copy of the Php2.606-trillion proposed national budget for 2015 from Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, as he vowed Congress would scrutinize the appropriations measure well while ensuring its timely passage this year.

The Speaker said a salient feature of the 2015 proposed budget is that it is devoid of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations.

“It does not contain PDAF. There is no post budget identification of projects — no such thing in the proposed 2015 national budget,” said the Speaker.

The budget submission ceremony was witnessed by Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, members of the Appropriations Committee led by its chairman Rep. Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City), House officials, civil society groups, and DBM officials.

Ungab said the Committee on Appropriations will immediately start the budget hearings on Wednesday, August 6.

“We still have to study the National Expenditures Program (NEP). We will immediately start the budget hearings next week,” Ungab said.

Abad said the submission of the proposed Php2.606 trillion proposed budget is in fulfillment of the Aquino administration’s commitment to further facilitate rapid, inclusive, and sustainable growth in the country.

Abad said the 2015 proposed budget is 15.1 percent higher from the current year’s Php2.265-trillion budget, representing 18.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reflecting the jump in the Administration’s growth assumption of 7.0 to 8.0 percent for 2015.

“Our proposed spending program is an expression of the President’s unerring commitment to bring inclusive socio-economic development to the people. In 2011, we started our budget reform agenda from the jump-off point of good governance, with the end goal of lifting more Filipinos out of poverty,” said Abad.

The challenge now is to make public spending even more efficient and effective, especially in the wake of the previous year’s calamities. “Thousands of Filipinos are still recovering from the effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda and other disasters that struck the country in 2013, and this budget—in line with the Administration’s Philippine Development Plan—will carefully account for these communities’ needs. No one should be left behind; this principle is the driving force of our 2015 expenditure program,” said the DBM chief.

Per sectoral allocation, Abad said social services continue to take the lion’s share of the proposed 2015 budget, attesting to the Administration’s continuing pursuit of its antipoverty goals. “Social protection and welfare services—which include the provision of basic education and universal health care—account for 37.1 percent of the proposed expenditure program, with Php967.9 billion now devoted to the sector,” he said.

The social services budget is 15 percent higher than the Php841.8 billion that currently supports social services under the 2014 National Budget, and will allow the Administration to strengthen its K-12 program, as well as its Universal Health and Conditional Cash Transfer programs, according to Abad.

Meanwhile, Abad said economic services are still a major mover in the President’s inclusive growth campaign, with the 2015 proposed budget directing Php700.2 billion towards this sector. “This comprises 4.9 percent of the country’s GDP and accounts for 27 percent of the expenditure program for the next fiscal year. At least Php339.4 billion in funds will go towards various infrastructure programs, including the construction of national roads and integrated transport systems nationwide,” said Abad.

The Top 10 departments in terms of budget are : Department of Education (DepEd), Php364.958 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Php300.519 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), Php144.036 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Php141.423 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Php108.970 billion; Department of Health (DOH), Php102.178 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), Php88.818 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Php59.463 billion; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Php21.290 billion; and Judiciary Php20.285 billion. (PNA)

FPV/HOR-PR/UTB

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