Aquino eyes passage of 2014 national budget ‘in record time’

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President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER.net Photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III  instructed the Lower House to pass the 2014 national budget “in record time”, said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

“[We are] confident that the Lower House will pass the expenditure program within schedule, as instructed by President Aquino. The timely passage of the Budget will be critical in ensuring the swift implementation of the Administration’s priority programs and projects next year, especially as we intensify our efforts at enhancing the expenditure process to bring rapid, inclusive, and sustainable growth to the country,” Abad said in a statement.

As budget deliberations began Wednesday with a briefing from the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC), Abad expects the House committee on appropriations to pay particular attention to the new “Performance-Informed Budget structure that defines the government’s spending program for 2014.”

Last year, Abad cited the Aquino administration’s early enactment of the National Budget for three years in a row.

On the other hand, critics claimed in the past that proceedings were being railroaded without much amendment and improvement on social service allocations.

Amid the deadline, Abad said, “We trust that the new face of the National Budget will encourage efficient and fruitful discussions during budget deliberations, in addition to helping our lawmakers approve President Aquino’s spending program in record time.”

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