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President Aquino to submit P1.8-T budget to Congress

/ 08:41 AM July 26, 2011

President Benigno Aquino III will submit the proposed P1.816-trillion national budget for next year to Congress today (Tuesday), a day after delivering his second State of the Nation Address (Sona).

A statement by the Department of Budget and Management on Monday said it was the first time after more than a decade that a budget proposal was submitted to Congress a day after a Sona was delivered.

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Former President Joseph Estrada submitted his budget proposal a day after he delivered his second Sona on July 26, 1999.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that because of their early submission, there was a “great chance” the 2012 budget would be approved before Christmas. House leaders have agreed to start their budget deliberations on Aug. 1.

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Abad said it was important to have the budget passed on time given the delays in the implementation of vital projects due to the late passage of the appropriations act.

The proposed national budget for 2012 is higher by P171 billion, or 10.4 percent, over the current year’s P1.645-trillion budget, and represents 16.5 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP). It is based on a conservative growth assumption of 5.5 percent, even as the administration continues to vie for 7-8 percent growth.

Abad said the proposed budget is a “results-focused budget” which aims to fulfill President Aquino’s “social contract” with the people.

He said the proposed budget focuses on the following priorities: Anticorruption and good governance, poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor, inclusive economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law, and integrity of the environment.

“We have scaled up funding for programs and projects that would lead to direct, immediate and substantial benefits to the poor. At the same time, we scaled down funding for activities which have been ineffective and prone to corruption,” Abad said. Christine O. Avendaño and Michelle V. Remo

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TAGS: Congress, P1.816-trillion national budget, President Benigno Aquino III, SONA 2011
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