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Duterte seeks infra-heavy P3.8-T budget for 2018

Ernesto Abella

Secretary Ernesto Abella. (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Duterte administration is proposing a P3.767-trillion “people-centered” national budget for next year, 12.4 percent more than the amount for this year, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday.

Abella said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will get the second biggest chunk of the budget in line with the administration’s ambitious infrastructure program. Education would get the biggest allocation, he said.

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“It’s a budget that reforms and transforms,” Abella said.

The 2018 budget would be equal to 21.6 percent of the gross domestic product, according to Abella.

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“The budget aims for a safer, greener, wealthier and more beautiful country, making space for the youth, the poor, disadvantaged and handicapped,” he added, quoting Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

In addition to the Department of Education, state universities and colleges, the Commission on Higher Education and the DPWH, Abella said the biggest allocations would go to the Departments of Interior and Local Government, Health,
Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Personnel services, which would receive 29.4 of national allocations, would account for the single biggest expense item, Abella said. By expense class, 25.4 percent of the budget would be allocated for infrastructure and capital outlays, 16 percent for local government units, 14.5 percent for maintenance, 9.8 percent for debt service and 4.5 percent for government-owned and controlled corporations, he added.

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TAGS: 2018 national budget, Ernesto Abella, Infrastructure projects, Rodrigo Duterte
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