Aquino signs P3-T budget

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday signed into law the General Appropriations Act (GAA) that provides a P3 trillion budget for 2016.

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Next year’s budget, which is 15 percent higher than this year’s, is the biggest national funding to date.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad made sure that the money will be well spent.

“Masusi niyang sinuri ang bawat pahina at detalye ng librong ito, at sinigurong walang mawawaldas ni isang kusing [Abad scrutinized each page and detail, and made sure that not a single centavo will be wasted],” he said.

In a statement, Abad said that the Administration created a budget that is vastly different from past allocations.

“With this budget, we have doubled the national budget since 2010 and we are providing the largest sectoral allocation to social services. This budget also caps the Administration’s record of enacting the budget in time for a perfect six straight times,” Abad explained.

According to him, next year’s budget is double the first budget of the Aquino Administration, which was P1.645 trillion.

“For every P100 of the 2016 budget, around P64 will be spent on social and economic services. This clearly shows how the government is wisely investing on its people, with the foresight of supporting services that will keep serving their needs long into the future,” Abad said.

Social services, which also covers housing, livelihood and community-driven projects, account for P1.106 trillion or 36.8 percent of the budget, while economic services covering areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, transport and communications account for P829.6 billion or 27.6 percent.

General public services were allocated P517.9 billion or 17.3 percent, while defense and security will receive P129.1 billion.

The education department has the highest budget— P436.5 billion. The allocation will cover the construction of 47,553 classrooms, the purchase of 103.2 million textbooks, and hiring of 79,691 teachers.

The conditional cash transfer program, has a budget of P62.7 billion to cover 4.6 million families.

Meanwhile, five percent of the country’s gross domestic product will be spent next year for infrastructure.

The Department of Public Works and Highways was given P400.4 billion for the completion of national roads and flood control projects.

The government will also be spending a record P25 billion next year to purchase frigates, surveillance planes and radars to improve its capacity to guard its maritime borders.

Agencies with the biggest budgets are the Departments of Interior and Local Government, P154.5 billion, Health, P128.5 billion, Social Welfare, P111 billion, Agriculture, P94 billion,
Transportation, P48.5 billion, Finance, P33.2 billion, and Environment, P24.8 billion.

The Vice President’s budget was doubled from P230 million to P500 million.

For the first time, funds were allotted for the pension of surviving spouses of World War II veterans.

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