• Aquino signs 2016 budget

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    President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday signed the P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016, with social services getting the biggest chunk.

    In a statement, the Department of Budget and Management said social services, which also covers housing, livelihood and community-driven projects, accounted for P1.106 trillion or 36.8 percent of the budget.

    Economic services covering areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, transport and communications accounted for P829.6 billion or 27.6 percent, while general public services will take P517.9 billion or 17.3 percent, it said.

    The department also noted that defense and security would receive P129.1 billion, the lowest allocation among sectors at 4.3 percent, and only 14 percent of the budget will go to debt interest payment.

    The Department of Education led the top 10 agencies receiving the largest budget at almost P437 billion.

    The rest of the top 10 departments are: Public Works and Highways (P400.4 billion); National Defense (P175.2 billion); Interior and Local Government (P154.5 billion); Health (P128.5 billion); Social Welfare and Development (P111 billion); Agriculture (P94 billion); Transportation and Communications (P48.5 billion); Finance (P33.2 billion), and Environment and Natural resources (P24.8 billion). – MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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