2013 National Budget of the Philippines

By Cielito M. Reganit

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Wednesday stressed that the proposed 2013 national budget will hasten implementation of priority programs under President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “social contract” with the Filipino people.

Abad made the statement at the start of the public hearing being conducted by the House Committee on Appropriations chaired by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya on the proposed P2.006-trillion national budget for 2013.

He led officials of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) – composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) – in explaining and defending the 10.5 percent increase in the proposed budget for next year to lawmakers.

“The greater focus on the Social Contract means, among other goals, good governance to attain peace and rule of law, integrity of the environment, inclusive growth and elimination or reduction of poverty,” Abad told members of the Appropriations Committee.

He said in order to continue the Administration’s focused campaign on poverty alleviation, the bulk of the budget is once again devoted to the Social Services sector – which will receive 34.8 percent or P698.8 billion of the national budget.

Economic Services received the second highest sectoral allocation with 25.5 percent or P511.1 billion devoted to it for 2013 while General Services gets P346.1 billion or 17.3 percent.

Meanwhile, next year’s allocation for debt service is P333.9 billion compared to P333.1 billion in 2012.

However, the 2013 debt service allocation comprises only 16.6 percent of the entire budget compared to 17.3 percent of the total budget in 2012.

Rounding up, Defense will get P89.7 billion (4.5 percent) and Net Lending is allocated P26.5 billion or 1.3 percent of the national budget.

For their part, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. explained to lawmakers the government’s financial status, monetary policy reforms and the status of the banking sector among other vital concerns, related to the administration’s proposed spending law.

Tetangco and Purisima noted that the Philippines enjoy good macro fundamentals following two decades of structural reforms.

They said the economy is projected to grow by 6 – 7 percent by 2013, compared to the projected 5 – 6 percent growth this year, which will be largely driven by investments, industry, exports, personal consumption and services.

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