Latest Stories

2014 budget, not the devil, is in the details


The Bureau of Corrections undertakes that there will only be 89 escapees from the country’s prisons in 2014, but all of them will be recaptured.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) says it will respond in five to seven minutes to 87 percent of some 5,000 distress calls it expects to receive next year.

Such “performance benchmarks” are a unique new feature of the proposed P2.26-trillion budget for 2014 that President Benigno Aquino III submitted to Congress this week. Already a voluminous document in itself, the proposed expenditure program has attached to it the specifics that government agencies intend to deliver if they are given the funds that they are asking for.

“[It] is the single most important budgeting innovation in years,” said a pleasantly amused Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who formerly chaired the Senate committee on ways and means and is a partymate of the President in the Liberal Party.

Recto said Mr. Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad deserve to be congratulated for the innovation.

“The 2014 national budget has gone micro and I would even say that it has gone overboard in detailing what an agency must deliver,” he said.

“They are now counting the beans … In the past, the budget of an agency contained only the amount. The one for 2014 includes performance benchmarks. The peso sign now comes with a performance guarantee,” he said in a statement.

Sen. Francis Escudero, the chair of the Senate committee on finance that will go over the budget bill, said it was a welcome variation but could make for lengthier debates during the budget hearings and, perhaps, even on the floor.

Police patrols to escapees

“This is a unique budget presented by the executive. I expect a bit more debates on it. It’s different but in a good way because for the first time, the executive branch put in each agency’s mission, vision, target and accomplishment rates,” Escudero told a radio interview.

Recto noted that one of the Philippine National Police’s expected outputs are “a minimum 629,258 crime investigations to be conducted next year and a vow to increase by 25 percent the number of foot and mobile patrols.”

In its budget proposal, the BFP commits that it will have a five-minute to seven-minute response time to 87 percent of the 5,185 distress calls it expects to get in 2014, he said.

Recto was particularly amused by the prisons bureau’s stated target.

“Perhaps citing historical records, the Bureau of Corrections said that no more than 89 prisoners will escape but 100 percent of them will be recaptured,” he said.

Even the normally secretive national defense units got into the spirit of the thing.

“The National Arsenal said it will churn out 30 million ammunition rounds. From the Army comes this assurance that 90 percent of its 176 tactical battalions can be made combat-ready within one hour upon receipt of orders from higher authorities,” Recto said.

Promissory notes

The National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency has chosen not to invoke secrecy as it has made public its deliverables of 39,215 intelligence reports in 2014, he said.

“The beauty of requiring these promissory notes is that big-ticket items get unbundled,” Recto said.

“In the case of the Department of Public Works and Highways, its budget says 1,022 gravel roads will be paved while 605 kilometers of national roads will be built. The Department of Agriculture has also indicated that it will repair 1,500 kilometers of farm roads,“ he said.

Recto said one major recipient of funds for 2014, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has attached a menu of targets to its budget request.


2.6 million meals

In addition to the beneficiaries of its “mega P62.6 billion” cash transfer program, the DSWD undertakes to serve meals to 2,568,811 schoolchildren next year.

The Department of Education has pledged an 84 percent National Achievement Test passing rate for 12.56 million secondary school students, Recto said.

“This proposed budget has left no stone unturned.  Even the expected number of visitors in the country’s museums was included in the computation,” Recto said.

State-run museums expect to open their doors to nearly 900,000 visitors next year.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2014 national budget , BFP , Bureau of Corrections , Bureau of Fire Protection , P2.26-trillion budget , Prisons , Ralph Recto

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  6. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  7. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  8. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  9. Town, DENR play tug-of-war over crocodile
  10. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  • AFP denies hand in disappearance of Tiamzon’s gardener
  • PH gov’t to verify MILF presence in Basilan clash
  • Padaca ‘eager’ to air side on trial over graft, malversation raps
  • DPWH to favor road rehab over preventive maintenance in next 2 years
  • Sports

  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Knicks prevent Nets from clinching fifth seed
  • Arsenal beats West Ham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Memorial service marks Hillsborough anniversary
  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Business

  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Marketplace