Duterte signs P3.77-T 2018 national budget, tax reform law
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday signed into law the P3.77-trillion national budget for 2018 and the controversial tax reform bill.
The signing of the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill was witnessed by government officials and lawmakers in Malacañang.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the P3.77-trillion is the government’s biggest budget to date, which is 12 percent higher than the 2017 national budget and 25.5 percent higher than the 2016 national budget.
“This will also fulfill my campaign promise of doubling the basic pay of our soldiers and police officers, which will take effect on the very first day of 2018,” Duterte said in his speech at the signing ceremony of the two laws.
“Two laws that I signed today are the fulfillment of my campaign promise to institute genuine fiscal reform that will be felt by every Filipino,” he added.
The President said “the implementation of these laws will serve as our national, initial step towards cutting the poverty rate at 14 percent and making the Philippines an upper middle class by 2022.”
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) got the biggest allocation from the budget with P637.86 billion.
The Department of Education (DepEd) got the second biggest share of the budget with P553.31 billion.
As for the tax reform law, Duterte said it was the biggest gift of the government to Filipinos.
“This is the administration’s biggest Christmas gift to the Filipino people,” Duterte said in his speech after signing into law the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Bill or Republic Act No. 10963,” he said. /jpv
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