MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will submit his proposed P1.816-trillion 2012 national budget on Tuesday, a day after delivering his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In a statement, Budget Secretary Francisco Abad said this will be the first time in more than a decade that the budget proposal will be submitted to Congress a day after the SONA.
He said such achievement was last seen on July 27, 1999, when former President Joseph Estrada submitted his budget plan after his SONA the day before.
“Since the House leadership has agreed to begin its budget deliberations on August 1, there is a great chance that the 2012 General Appropriations Act will be approved before Christmas,” Abad said.
The proposed 2012 budget is 10.4% higher than the current year's P1.645 trillion. It represents 16.5% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and is based on a "conservative" growth assumption of 5.5%.
Abad said the budget is "results-focused," and will be allocated mostly for social services for the poor.
“We have scaled up funding for programs and projects that lead to direct, immediate and substantial benefits to the poor. At the same time, we scaled down funding for activities which have been ineffective and prone to corruption,” he said.
The government is aiming to reduce its budget deficit to P286 billion or 2.6% of GDP next year, from P300 billion or 3% of GDP this year.