Abad sees early implementation of 2013 budget

By VG Cabuag, BusinessMirror

Posted at Oct 18 2012 07:56 AM | Updated as of Oct 18 2012 03:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Thursday said he expects an early implementation of the 2013 national budget following its approval on third and final reading by the House of Representatives last week.

He said with the early approval of the P2.006-trillion budget next year, the national government will release the funding at the earliest time possible, which will enable the agencies to spend in the initial months of 2013.

“For the third year in a row, we will continue the Aquino administration’s tradition of enacting the national budget at the earliest possible time,” Abad said in a statement.

Next year’s proposed budget is 10.5 percent higher than this year’s P1.816- trillion program.

The proposed outlay seeks to deepen the Aquino administration’s improved governance, increased economic growth and a stronger anti-poverty platform, Abad said.

Under the proposed expenditure program, the budget for social services will still receive the bulk of appropriations, taking up 35 percent, or P698.8 billion, of the national budget to enhance the Aquino administration’s poverty-alleviation efforts, particularly through better health and education services.

Another 25.5 percent, or P511.1 billion, will be allocated to economic services, while general public services and debt burden will receive 17.3 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the defense-related services will receive P89.7 billion, or 4.5 percent, of the total budget.

“We crafted this proposed budget in conjunction with various stakeholders, including civil-society groups and representatives of some of the country’s poorest communities. The spirit driving this budget—that of empowerment—affirms that citizen engagement is necessary if we are to serve Filipinos better, particularly the poor and marginalized,” Abad said.

The Aquino administration is eyeing to grow the country’s economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, to 6 percent to 7 percent next year, and up to 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent until the end of term of the Aquino administration in 2016.