PNoy Admin calls it the P2.006T ‘Empowerment Budget’
The Aquino administration has given next year’s P2.006 trillion budget a name. Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad called it the Empowerment Budget.
In a briefing on the 2013 expenditure plan Monday, Abad said that the government’s budget will fund more projects that aim to bolster the country’s bid to achieve an economic growth of 6 to 7 percent in 2013.
A highlight of next year's expenditure program is the “huge” budget for infrastructure, which Abad said would total P407.1 billion. The government will use the money to accelerate the construction of various roads, airports and other infrastructure projects.
The P407.1 billion infrastructure budget includes an additional infrastructure subsidy for government-owned and controlled corporations amounting to P29.8 billion.
In 2012, the government allocated P328 billion for infrastructure.
The budget for Economic Services where funds for infrastructure projects and capital outlay come from has increased to P510.9 billion from P439 billion or a share of 25.5 percent from 24.2 percent in 2012.
Of the total budget, the government has programmed to spend P1.602 trillion for current operating expenses from P1.464 trillion in 2012.
However, Abad said, “The greatest share of 34.8 percent or P698.4 billion has been earmarked for Social Services that support the reduction of poverty to 16.6 percent by 2016. This is 13.9 higher than the sector’s P613.4 billion allocation in 2012.”
Debt Servicing, on the other hand, will decrease to 16.6 percent or P333.9 billion in 2013.
Recalibrated budget execution
To accelerate the implementation and disbursement of the budget, Abad said the Budget department has put in place “recalibrated budget execution and accountability mechanisms.”
“Budgets for classrooms, hospitals and farm-to-market roads will be transferred for implementation to the DPWH. With this, line agencies should be able to focus on core mandates, such as the Department of Agrarian Reform and land acquisition and distribution,” Abad said.
As another measure to accelerate the implementation of the budget, the Budget department has also mandated that agencies conduct their pre-bidding activities right after the submission of the proposed budget to Congress on July 24.
The idea is to award the project contracts by November, Abad said.
With higher disbursements of P2.021 trillion planned for 2013, the government hopes to raise P1.780 trillion in revenues next year and trim the budget deficit to P241 billion or 2 percent of gross domestic product. The 2012 deficit was pegged at P279.1 billion or 2.6 percent of GDP. — DVM, GMA News
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