THE House of Representatives yesterday started deliberating, in plenary session, the first budget of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, amounting to P3.350 trillion, which is 11 percent higher than the present budget.
The 2017 proposed budget is dubbed “budget for change,” House Committee on Appropriations chairman Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said as he sponsored House Bill 3408 or the General Appropriations Bill.
“We are ready to defend the budget. We have gone through a series of budget briefings and pre-plenary hearings. So we have all heard the concerns and issues raised by the members of the House. Appropriations committee leaders have also been given the opportunity to discuss in detail the budget proposal of each department and agency of government,” Nograles said.
In crafting the budget proposal, the government considers several sectors that need further funding development and sustainability, Nograles said.
The solon stressed that the proposed budget aims to ensure that the country’s limited resources are maximized towards making government work better for the people, most especially those in the countryside, who have felt forgotten and neglected.
“It is a budget that expands the productive capacities of the national economy to ensure that the poor are enabled to engage in the processes of and benefit from the fruits of growth, to truly bring nation building to the consciousness and reality of every Filipino,” Nograles also said.
“It is a budget that pours public resources where it counts most – to support the policy and program infrastructures for social change and sustained economic development,” he added.
Of the P3.35 trillion proposed budget, 40 percent will be for empowering human resources through education, healthcare, social welfare and other social services; 27.6 percent for economic services to fix the broken infrastructure network, boost agricultural and rural sector and generate more jobs and livelihood and 22 percent for general public services and defense.
Among the agencies that will be getting lion’s shares of the P3.35 trillion are Department of Education (DepEd, P567.5 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) P458.6 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), P150 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), P134.5 billion; Department if Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P129.9 billion; Department of Health (DoH, P94 billion; State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), P58.8 billion; Department of Trade and Industry, P55.4 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA),P45.2 billion and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), P41 billion.