President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday signed the P2.606 trillion budget for 2015, which he said was “pork-free.”
Next year’s budget is higher than the P2.265-trillion earmarked for the current year.
In a speech, Aquino gave assurances that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel has been removed from the budget.
“Wala na sa ating budget ang PDAF o Priority Development Assistance Fund, na naging instrumento ng pangungulimbat ng ilang mapagsamantala [The PDAF or Priority Development Assistance Fund, which some took advantage of by turning it into an nstrument of corruption, is not in our budget],” he said.
The Supreme Court last year declared PDAF unconstitutional.
According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, next year’s budget will cover the country’s requirements for post-disaster rehabilitation and climate change.
The administration’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps will get P62.3 billion to cover 4.3 million indigent families.
Other major allocations include P53.9 billion for basic education facilities, covering construction of 31,728 classrooms and repair of 9,500 others, development of 13,586 water and sanitation facilities and procurement of 1.3 million chairs.
The General Appropriations Act (GAA) also allocated P37.1 billion for PhilHealth premium subsidies to benefit 15.4 million poor and near-poor families, P11 billion for socialized housing especially for residents living in danger zones or high-risk areas.
Four percent of next year’s GAA will go to strategic infrastructure programs: P185.8 billion for national roads and bridges, P10.6 billion to improve the country’s railway systems (Light Rail Transit 1, LRT 2 and Metro Rail Transit 3) and P89.1 billion for agricultural production projects.