Lower House approves P2-trillion 2013 budget
MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives on Thursday night approved on second reading President Aquino's proposed 2013 P2.006-trillion national budget contained in House Bill 6455.
“We strongly believe this spending bill will ensure sustained service to our people and maximize the developmental use of the people’s money by improving accountability in the budget process,” House Speaker Sonny Belmonte Jr. said in a press statement.
He said a reenacted budget is "a thing of the past" since the start of the 15th Congress. “We are now well on our way towards having a budget law by January, as promised.”
Belmonte said the spending measure is a “social contract” with the Filipino people that promotes transparency, accountability and participatory governance.
The proposed General Appropriations Act for 2013 is P190 billion or 10.5% higher than the P1.816-trillion 2012 GAA.
The Department of Education and Culture tops the list with an approved budget of P292.7 billion, followed by the DPWH with P165.5 billion, the Department of National Defense, which was allotted P121.6 billion, and the DILG with P121.1 billion.
The Department of Agriculture ranks 5th with a P74.1 billion budget; 6th is the DOH with P56.8 billion; 7th is DSWD at P56.2 billion; 8th is DOTC with P37.1 billion; 9th is DOF at P33.2 billion and the DENR with P23.7 billion.
The figures of the top ten agencies mentioned include the respective departments’ allocations under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF), Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF), Budgetary Support to Government Corporations (BSGC), Priority Social and Economic Projects Fund (PSEPF) and other Special Purpose Funds.
The Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department said that to support the President's budget proposal is an estimated total revenue collection of P1.780-trillion or 14.9% of GDP. Total disbursement is targeted at P2.021-trillion (16% of GDP), and the resulting budget deficit is expected to go down to P241-billion (2.0% of GDP) in 2013 from the 2012 target of P279.1-billion (2.6% of GDP).
Talking about appropriations by region -- compared to the current regional budgetary allocation of P770.5-billion, next year’s regional spending level will be at P990.4-billion or a 28.5 percent increase equivalent to 49.4 percent of the total 2013 proposed budget.
The regional budgetary allocations under the proposed 2013 General Appropriations Act are the following: Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) – P31.7-B; Region-1 –P49.7-B; Region 2 – P44.8-B; Region 3 – P88.9-B; Region 4 – P130.2-B; NCR – P129.4-B; Region 5 – P63.2-B; Region 6 – P74.4-B; Region 7 – P63.0-B; Region 8 – P56.5-B; Region 9 – P42.0-B; Region 10 – P48.1-B; Region 11 – P46.3-B; Region 12 – P43.5-B; and ARMM – P43.8-B.
It was revealed during the budget debate that the LGU shares in the proposed GAA 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 (IRA) of LGUs for 2013.
By sector, the biggest slice of the budget is again focused on social services with 34.8 percent of the total national budget (P698.8-B) in order to pursue the government's determined campaign on poverty alleviation. Economic services get the second highest sectoral funding with P511.1-B or 25.6 percent of the GAA in 2013.
Next to Economic services is the General Public Services sector with P346.1-B (17.3%), then Debt burden at the level of P333.9-B (16.6), and the Defense sector with P89.7-B of 4.5% of the national budget.
By expense class, to help boost the momentum currently driving the transport, tourism and agriculture industries, capital outlays (CO) will increase by 15.7 percent to P380-B from the current year's level of P328.3-B. Of this amount, as per DBM report to Congress, Infrastructure and other capital outlays will increase by 17.5 percent to P296.7-billion from the current year's P252.4-billion.