By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has pushed for the approval of the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 to advance infrastructure development and better education, health, and other social services.
The administration’s budget proposal for next year was submitted to Congress Monday, the same day the President delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“For Fiscal Year 2019, we submit for your perusal and approval a National Budget that will amplify the forces and resources to effectively and efficiently build our nation, in order to draw more of our people from the clutches of poverty and maintain law and order, so everybody lives in peaceful co-existence,” the President said in his budget message to Congress.
“The National Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 of P3.757 trillion will guarantee the next chapter, and its fulfilment, as a vital linking the continuing story of change that leads to inclusive growth towards a future of progress and prosperity,” he said.
He noted that the proposed 2019 Budget was “designed to be a modern and open budget for accountability and service delivery” and would take the nation “from dream to action, from possibility to reality, from building to being.”
Duterte’s budget message was posted on the Department of Budget and Management website.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed the submission of the 2019 budget bill to Congress. “Yes. And it’s been received by the Office of the Speaker,” he said in a text message.
The proposed 2019 budget is considered the first cash-based budget of the Duterte administration to pave the way for more efficient delivery of public services.
Under the proposed 2019 budget, the government has allocated P1.377 trillion for social services or 36.7 percent of the entire budget. This is followed by economic services (28.4%; P1.068 trillion), general public services (18.9%; P709.1 billion), debt burden (11.0%; P414.1 billion), and defense (5.0%; P188.2 billion).
Of the top 10 departments, the Department of Education will get the biggest share of the budget at P659.3 billion. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will receive the second highest allocation at P555.7 billion.
Other departments with large budget allocations are Department of Interior and Local Government (P225.6 billion), Department of National Defense (P183.4 billion), Department of Social Welfare and Development (P173.3 billion), Department of Health (P141.4 billion); Department of Transportation (P76.1 billion), Department of Agriculture (P49.8 billion), judiciary (P37.3 billion), and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (P32.3 billion).