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PNoy, Cabinet target PHL's poorest regions in crafting proposed 2014 budget

President Benigno Aquino III and his Cabinet members are making sure that the proposed budget for next year, which is estimated to be P2.3 trillion, will reach the country's poorest regions, a Palace official said Monday.
On Mnday, Aquino met with his entire Cabinet to scrutinize budget allocations for next year, which will be aimed at translating the country's economic gains to inclusive growth, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
"'Yung tinatalakay rito ay kung paano mas magiging epektibo at mahusay ang paggamit ng pamahalaan sa budget, saan gagamitin ang salapi at anong mga programa ang ilulunsad," Coloma said in an interview aired over state-run People's Television (PTV) Channel 4.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier said the 2014 budget may reach up to P2.268 trillion, which is 13 percent higher than last year's allocation. This figure, however, may still change after the Cabinet meeting.
Further, Coloma said the goal of the President and the Cabinet in the budget meeting is to identify which regions in the country need to get the bulk of next year's proposed allocations.
"Kinaikailangan po kasing malunasan natin ang problema ng kahirapan kaya tinututukoy po ang mga lalawigan kung saan po mataas ito upang makatutok po tayo ng mga programang pang-ekonomiya na magbibigay ng mas maraming trabaho sa ating mamamayan at para po matukoy iyong problema ng kahirapan," he said.
Last April, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported that poverty incidence in the country during the first half of 2012 was at 27.9 percent, which was almost the same rate six years ago.

This is despite the economic growth being experienced by the Philippines, with the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growing by 7.8 percent during the first three months of 2013-- the highest in Asia and also the highest under Aquino's watch.

Last month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also reported that unemployment, particularly in the agriculture sector, worsened in April. — Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News