President Benigno Aquino III and the Cabinet have approved the proposed P1.816-trillion national budget for 2012.
The proposed budget is 10.4 percent higher than the current year’s budget of P1.645-trillion, fully reflecting his commitment to fulfill his Social Contract with the Filipino People.
“This is a budget that is focused on achieving results: that the dividends of good governance reach the poor in a direct, immediate and substantial way,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.
He said social services – mainly basic education, public health and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will get the lion’s share of the proposed budget of 31.6 percent or P573.5 billion, which is an increase of 10 percent over its current budgetary allocation of P521.4 billion.
To support rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth, the economic services sector will receive the second biggest allocation which is 24.3 percent or P442.1 billion of the budget, an increase of 22.2 percent over its P361.9-billion this year.
Infrastructure and other capital outlays—especially those supporting agriculture, tourism and industrial development—has been given greater emphasis with a 27.2-percent increase to P243.9 billion in 2012 from P191.7 billion.
The general public services sector will receive P322.3 billion or 17.7 percent of the 2012 proposed budget, or an annual increase of 11.9 percent; while the defense sector will receive P111.4 billion or 6.1 percent of the proposed budget, or an increase of 9.9 percent.
Meanwhile, to sustain fiscal consolidation efforts, the share of the debt burden on the national budget will decrease to 20.2 percent or P367.2 billion, from 22.6 percent or P372.1 billion of the 2011 budget.
A fiscal deficit of P286 billion or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product is targeted in 2012, lower than this year’s target of P300 billion or 3 percent of GDP.
“We escalated transparency and accountability in the budget, beyond requiring the disclosure of budget information. We fleshed-out lump-sum funds in the budget, tightened the use of savings and ensured direct budgetary release to the smallest implementing units,” he said.
Abad said Aquino has approved of the proposed budget, subject to some modifications and clarifications to the department budgets that he made during a Cabinet meeting yesterday.*PNA