DBM submits proposed P3.35 trillion budget for 2017

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2016 02:35 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2016 03:06 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) submitted the proposed P3.35 trillion budget for 2017 to the House of Representatives on Monday.

The proposed budget is 11.6 percent higher than the P3.002 trillion budget for 2016, with President Rodrigo Duterte's personal office alone seeing its budget grow 10-fold compared to his predecessor's.

The budget proposal also has lump sum special purpose funds, which the new budget chief has denied are "pork barrel" funds.

Based on a handout given by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the top 10 recipients of the budget by agency are the following:

Education: P567.5 billion (from P433 billion in 2016)
Public Works and Highways: P458.6 billion (from P397 billion in 2016)
Interior and Local Government: P150.05 billion (from P125 billion in 2016)
National Defense: P134.54 billion (from P117 billion in 2016) 
Social Welfare and Development: P129.9 billion from P110 billion in 2016)
Health: P94.066 billion (from P124 billion in 2016) 
Transportation: P55.47 billion 
Agriculture: P45.29 billion (from P48 billion in 2016)
ARMM: P41.7 billion (from P29 billion in 2016)
Other Executive Offices: P38.6 billion (from P20.4 billion in 2016) 
Judiciary: P32.54 billion (from P26 billion in 2016)
Environment and Natural Resources: P22.9 billion (from P20 billion in 2016)
Science and Technology: P20.8 billion (from P18 billion in 2016)
Office of the President: P20.03 billion (from P2.8 billion in 2016)

The lump sum special purpose funds are as follows: 

Budgetary Support to Government Owned and Controlled Corporations: P148.2 billion 
Allocations to Local Government Units: P554.85 billion
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: P37.25 billion
Contingent Fund: P5.5 billion
Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund: P96.1 billion
Pension and Gratuity Fund: P142.29 billion
Customs Duties and Taxes, including tax expenditures: P19.5 billion
Debt Interest Payments: P334.877 billion

By sector, the budget will see P923.95 billion go into economic services; P1.3 trillion going into social services; P147.7 billion going into defense; P581 billion going into general public services; and P334.877 billion going into debt service interest payments. 

By percentage, 40 percent will be for empowering human resources; 27.6 percent will be for economic services and 22 percent will be for general public services and defense.

Under Duterte, the Mindanao logistics and infrastructure network will get P31.5 billion. The President also gives more funding to the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines (P110.4 billion and P130.6 billion, respectively) as he embarks to deliver his campaign promise of a crackdown on criminality. 

The DBM already said it will increase the salaries of the military and police by pursuing a law that will increase the base pay of uniformed personnel. 

The DSWD's conditional cash transfer program gets P78.7 billion for 4.62 million beneficiaries.

"We're putting our money where our mouth is. This budget is consistent with President Duterte's 10-point agenda...it is a transparent budget," said Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Diokno, a known budget watchdog before joining government, assured the public wary of the pork barrel system that this budget "is compliant with the two landmark Supreme Court decisions on PDAF and DAP."

He said that while the pork barrel system is gone, nothing prevents lawmakers from proposing projects for their constituents, and there is no limit to how much they can propose.

Pork barrel has been defined by experts as lump sums under the discretion of one person alone.

In the budget, there are lump sums in the special purpose funds. Diokno, however, clarified that these lump sums do have intended purposes. 

He also clarified the increase in the President's budget, saying a number of agencies were put under the Office of the President.

These include the Cooperative Development Authority Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council National Anti-Poverty Commission; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; National Food Authority; National Youth Commission; Office of the President – Presidential Action Center; Philippine Commission on Women; Philippine Coconut Authority; Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor; and the Technical Education, Skills and Development Authority