MANILA - The Department of Transportation's budget will rise 32.6 percent from P55.7 billion this year to P73.8 billion in 2018 as the government ramps up infrastructure spending, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.
Next year's budget of P3.767 trillion will be one that "reforms and transforms," said Diokno, adding that it supports the Duterte administration's development objectives.
Diokno said that P1.097 trillion, equivalent to 6.3 percent of the country’s GDP, has been set aside for the administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
Education will still get the lion's share of the budget, with the allotment for the sector rising 6.4 percent or P691.1 billion in 2018 to help build about 47,000 new classrooms and hire 81,000 more teachers.
Of this amount, P613.1 billion was earmarked for the Department of Education, P13.5 Billion for the Commission on Higher Education and P64.6 billion for State Colleges and Universities.
"With the young population, whose median age is 23, the government must prioritize preparing our youth, for they will be the future drivers of growth," Diokno said in a press conference in the Department of Budget and Management office in Manila.
The Department of Public Works and Highways is set to receive the second highest share of the budget with P643.3 billion.
The Department of Health will be given P164.3 billion, 10 percent higher than this year, to fund the construction of 1,400 barangay health stations and the improvement of 350 government hospitals.
Meanwhile, among the agencies that will see a cut in its budget is the Commission on Human Rights. - with Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News