PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is giving “extra rice” to three million beneficiary-families under an increased budget for conditional cash transfer (CCT) in next year’s P3.35 trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) that was submitted yesterday to the House of Representatives.
During the campaign, then presidential candidate Duterte vowed to expand the CCT program of the government.
The P62 billion CCT budget in this year’s P3.002 trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) was increased to P78.7 billion next year to benefit 4.62 million families.
Under the P78.7 billion CCT fund, President Duterte allocated P23.4 billion for rice allowance that would benefit three million poor families out of the total 4.62 million beneficiary-families.
The following are the departments that will get big appropriations: Department of Education (P567 billion); Department of Public Works and Highways (P458 billion); Department of Interior and Local Government (P150 billion); Department of National Defense (P134 billion); and, Department of Social Welfare and Development (P129 billion).
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will get P110.4 billion to beef up the drive against crime, illegal drugs, terrorism, hire more policemen, and fund drugs rehabilitation program and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been given P130.6 billion.
Budget Secretary Benjami Diokno who submitted the national budget to House leaders yesterday said it also contains provisions for higher salaries for police and military personnel.
At the same time, the national budget pegged the total lump sum of the Special Purpose Funds (SPF) at P1.3 trillion, which is higher than this year’s P1.28 trillion.
SPF includes Budgetary Support to Government Corporations (P148 billion); Allocation to Local Government Units (P554 billion); National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (P37 billion); Contingent Fund (P5.5 billion from P2.5 billion in 2016); Miscellaneous Personnel and Benefits Fund (P96 billion); Pension and Gratuity Fund (P142 billion); Customs duties and taxes including tax expenditure (P19 billion); and, Debt Interest Payments (P334 billion).
Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, assured the timely passage of the national budget.