Palace hopes lawmakers would ensure swift passage of 2019 budget proposal

Published July 24, 2018, 6:17 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is optimistic that lawmakers would ensure the swift passage of the 2019 budget proposal since they will benefit from the implementation of various projects.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement a day after President Duterte submitted the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget to Congress for its review and approval.

“We are confident that because this budget is intended to implement Build, Build, Build which means more projects for all Congressmen and legislators as well, that it will be passed on time,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

He added that the passage of the budget proposal was a “test” for newly elected Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The President earlier pushed for the approval of the 2019 budget proposal to advance infrastructure development and better education, health, and other social services.

“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.

He noted that the proposed 2019 budget was “designed to be a modern and open budget for accountability and service delivery.”

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 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 percent; P1.068 trillion), general public services (18.9 percent; P709.1 billion), debt burden (11 percent; P414.1 billion), and defense (5 percent; 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).