DBM chief vows to hand Congress P5.268-T 2023 budget by Aug. 22
MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has assured the public that the executive branch will hand in the proposed P5.268 trillion budget for 2023 — first under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s watch — by August 22.
Pangandaman, during a briefing held by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Friday afternoon, said that the executive branch would maximize the given period for it to submit its budget to accommodate priority projects of the new cabinet officials.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the President must submit a proposed budget before Congress 30 days after the latter opens its session. With the 19th Congress kickstarting its session on July 25 — during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) — they will have until August 23 to submit the budget.
“Well, first of all, the budget, we extended it, we’ll maximize the — because we have a deadline as provided for by the Constitution. So we will maximize our timeline,” Pangandaman told reporters.
“We will submit the budget to Congress (on) August 22 to give way and accommodate for the priority projects, of course of the new cabinet secretaries,” she added.
Pangandaman also said they went with the P5.268-trillion cap set by former president Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers. However, before Friday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) chief said they would try to go over the P5.628 trillion cap if government coffers allowed it.
READ: Pangandaman eyes bigger budget than P 5.268T for ’23
“Yes, as discussed during the DBCC meeting, we will stick with the P5.2 trillion as previously announced,” she said.
As Marcos has mentioned, Pangandaman said the government’s spending would focus on agriculture.
“I think we already gave a few focus areas, of course, agriculture will be the priority of the President; we also have, of course, the infrastructure as we continue the Build, Build, Build projects, and alongside with this is for our power and energy sector,” she said.
“Under the GAA 2022, we have a total amount of P71 billion appropriated for the Department of Agriculture (DA), 34 percent of which has already been obligated, and roughly 22 percent has been disbursed. The projects and programs are divided among specific programs of the [DA], that is for the rice program, corn, fisheries, and livestock,” she added.
In 2021, the national government transmitted the P5.024 trillion budget to Congress on April 23 — a day before the deadline set by the Constitution.
READ: Proposed P5.024T national budget for 2022 transmitted to Congress
After the proposed budget has been transmitted, both houses of Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives — would deliberate the details through committees and eventually within the plenary session.
The process usually takes several weeks to complete. However, during Duterte’s term, several proposed budgets were approved by December before Congress went on a Christmas break.
READ: Velasco: 2021 legislative session ends on ‘hopeful note’ with passage of budget
In 2021, the proposed 2022 budget was signed by Duterte on December 30 — avoiding going into the next fiscal year with a reenacted budget. The previous year, the former chief executive signed the budget on December 28.
READ: Duterte signs P4.5-T 2021 national budget
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