MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Tuesday submitted to Congress his proposed P1.816-trillion national budget for 2012 that seeks to expand spending for social services.
The budget is 10.4% higher than this year's P1.645-trillion, and represents 16.5% of the projected gross domestic product.
"This budget embodies our commitment to lift the poor from poverty through honest and effective governance. It is intently focused on fulfilling my administration’s social contract with the Filipino people,” President Aquino said.
“This proposed budget is a results-focused budget,” he stressed.
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said they applied the zero-based budgeting scheme in crafting the proposal "to eliminate ineffective and inefficient spending."
"So that each and every peso we spend will count in empowering the poor,” he added.
Abad said government agencies are mandated to disclose budget information in their websites for transparency and accountability.
Social services gets largest share
Social services, including education, public health and social protection for the poor, got the biggest budget allocation of P575.8 billion or 31.7% of the 2012 national budget. This is 10.4% higher than the P521.4 billion earmarked this year.
Meanwhile, the economic services sector received the second-biggest share of P438.9 billion or 24.2% of the proposed budget in order to support rapid, sustained and inclusive growth. The amount is up 21.3% from this year's P361.9 billion.
The debt burden follows with P356.1 billion or a 19.6% share, a 4.3% decline from 2011, as the government saves on interest payments.