Senate approves P2.006-T budget for 2013

THE Senate approved on third and final reading the proposed P2.006 trillion national budget for 2013.

The budget – 10.5 percent higher than this year’s P1.816 trillion – was approved with  14 affirmative votes, one  negative votes and no abstention.

Next year’s budget is slated to provide P698.4 billion for social services program, P510.9 billion for economic services and P333.9 billion for debt service, Senator Franklin Drilon, sponsor of the measure, said.

The Department of Education (DepEd) will have the biggest budget, amounting to P292.7 billion, 22.6 percent higher than last year’s budget. The bigger budget for DepEd will also help boost the K+12 Program being implemented by the department, he noted.

Once enacted into law, the budget will continue to invest in social protection package of about 3.8 million indigent families through the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program which is allotted P44.25 billion in 2013 from P39.5 billion this year. Aside from this, P12.6 billion has been provided for the enrolment in Philhealth of 5.2 million poor families.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is the second highest government agency with a budget allocation of P152.9 billion, followed by the Department of National Defense (DND) with P121.6 billion.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will receive P121.1 billion while the Department of Agriculture (DA) will get P74.1 billion.

The Department of Health (DOH) will receive P56.8 billion, followed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P56.2 billion, Department of Transportation and Communication with P37.1 billion, Department of Finance with P33.2 billion and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with P 23.7 billion.

The Office of the President will receive P2.7 billion, which is slightly higher than last year’s P2.595 billion while P9.8 billion will be allotted for Congress. The Office of the Vice President will get P420.5 million. The Judiciary will receive P17.7 billion compared to P15.075 billion this year.

The target date for the budget to be signed by the President is third week of December.

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