Budget gets House OK, awaits Aquino signature


03:21 AM December 7th, 2012

By: Leila B. Salaverria, December 7th, 2012 03:21 AM

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. AP

The P2.006-trillion national budget for 2013 is only awaiting the President’s signature, after the House of Representatives ratified Wednesday night the bicameral conference report on the general appropriations act.

The budget’s final version was ratified without a hitch in the House, which completed the matter before embarking on the lengthy, contentious period of amendments on the controversial reproductive health bill.

The Senate ratified the bicameral conference report early Wednesday.

The relatively swift approval of the general appropriations act will allow the President to sign the budget before the year ends, and do away with the previous scenario of having a reenacted budget in the first few weeks or months of the year.

The 2013 budget features increased spending for infrastructure and a bigger budget for the conditional cash transfer program, which will be expanded to cover 3.8 million households.

The Department of Education will get the biggest allocation for 2013, with P293.32 billion.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has been allotted P152.4 billion, and the Department of National Defense, P121.6 billion.

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