Aquino signs P2.006 T GAA for 2013

December 19, 2012 11:15 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Dec. 19 — President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday signed the P2.006 trillion national budget for 2013.

"Sa pagsasabatas natin ngayon sa Pambansang Gugulin o National Budget para sa taong 2013, sinasariwa natin ang Atas ng Taumbayan: maglingkod nang tapat, at ng walang ibang iniisip kundi ang kapakanan ng atin pong mga 'Boss'," the President said in his speech.

He said the administration has faced so many trials, threats to security, natural disasters, and even threats from some sectors who try to prevent reforms to be implemented.

"Sa kabila ng mga ito, hindi tayo natinag — bagkus, nakamit pa natin ang mahahalagang tagumpay: ang pag-uumapaw ng kumpyansa ng pandaigdigang merkado sa ating bansa; ang paglago ng ekonomiya sa paraang sumasaklaw sa nakakaraming Pilipino; ang pagtaas ng kredibilidad ng mga pampublikong institusyon sa mata ng mga tagasubaybay sa loob at labas ng bansa. Ilan lamang ang mga tagumpay na ito na, sa pag-aakala ng ating mga kritiko, ay hindi kailanman magiging posible," he noted.

"Napatunayan po natin: walang imposible, kung ang tanging isinasapuso natin ay ang interes ng taumbayan. Ngayon naman, sa ikatlong pagkakataon, nasiguro nating muli ang maagang pagsasabatas sa ating Budget," he added.

For 2013, the bulk of the budget will once again be devoted to Social Services, which will receive 34.8 percent of the National Budget — to continue the administration’s focused campaign on poverty alleviation.

Capital Outlays increased by 15.7 percent to P380 billion from this year’s level of P328.3 billion.

Of this amount, Infrastructure and Other Capital Outlays increased by 17.5 percent to P296.7 billion from P252.4 billion in 2012.

The increases will help boost the momentum currently driving the transport, tourism and agriculture industries.

Current Operating Expenditures (COE), on the other hand, account for P1.6 trillion in next year's budget — an increase of 9.2 percent from the current year’s P1.465 trillion. This accounts for the jump in Personal Services (by 8.0 percent to P641.3 billion) to support the full implementation of the Salary Standardization Law III , among others.

Meanwhile, Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures are up by 17.5 percent to P313.3 billion due to the expansion of social and economic programs. Interest Payments are also up by 0.2 percent to P333.9 billion this year.

The budget for government owned and controlled corporations posted a significant increase of 103.1 percent, bringing the total budget to P44.3 billion. Of this, subsidies increased by more than 114.3 percent to P42.3 billion.

The local government units shares in the National Budget also rose by 9.7 percent to P318.1 billion due to improved revenue collections in 2010, the base year for computing the Internal Revenue Allotment of LGUs for 2013.

The Dept. of Education received the biggest budget with P292.7 billion; followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways with P152.9 billion; and the Dept. of National Defense with P121.6 billion.

The Dept. of Interior and Local Government got P121.1 billion budget for next year; Dept. of Agriculture with P74.1 billion; Dept. of Health – P56.8 billion; and the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development – P56.2 billion.

The Dept. of Transportation and Communication received P37.1 billion; Dept. of Finance – P33.2 billion; and the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources – P23.7 billion.

President Aquino thanked the 15th Congress headed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

"Siniguro ninyong matuwid at wasto ang pagkakahulma sa batas na ito. Kaya nga po sa unang pagkakataon makalipas ang mahigit pitong taon, walang probisyon sa Budget na ito na kinailangang ipawalang-bisa sa pamamagitan ng 'Direct Veto'. Kaya maraming salamat na naman po sa inyong lahat," he said.

With the signing of the 2013 national budget, the President said it's not just mere numbers and provisions but "the aspirations of every Filipino."

"Ipinagkatiwala ng mamamayan sa atin ang pangangasiwa sa bawat pisong buwis na kanilang pinaghirapan, kaya marapat lamang na gamitin natin ito para sa ikauunlad ng kanilang buhay," he said.

"Ipinapakita natin sa budget na ito: Nasa poder tayo hindi para atupagin ang pansariling interes, kundi para siguruhing bumubukas ang mga pintuan ng pagkakataon para sa taumbayan, lalo na sa mga nasa laylayan ng lipunan," he added. (PNA)

HBC/LGI

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