PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd approved a budget of P3.002 trillion for 2016 during a meeting with his Cabinet on Monday, a Palace official said.
The proposed national budget for next year is 15 percent higher than this year’s P2.6 trillion, and comprises 19.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Coloma explained that the 2016 budget focuses on the needs of 44 poorest and most vulnerable provinces and on Aquino’s five priority areas: good governance, inclusive growth, sustaining the growth momentum, disaster risk management and peace initiatives.
Of the proposed P3 trillion budget, P2.42 trillion will go to employees’ salaries, overhead costs and existing programs like basic education, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The remaining P580.9 billion will support new or expanded programs.
Coloma said the biggest chunk of the budget shall be allocated for the Department of Education (DepEd) — P436.5 billion. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will get P401.14 billion, Department of National Defense, P172 billion, Department of Interior and Local Government, P156 billion, Department of Health (DoH), P128.5 billion, and Department of Social Welfare and Development, P107.6 billion.
“The combined budgets of the DepEd and the DPWH represent more than a quarter of the total 2016 National Budget,” Coloma explained.
He said the DPWH and DoH received the highest increases in their annual budgets at 32 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively as “part of efforts to boost public infrastructure development and support economic expansion as well as to improve health care services especially to the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society.”
“President Aquino directed all Cabinet members to intensify efforts at completing the delivery of programs, especially those on public infrastructure, including the rehabilitation of ‘Yolanda’-affected and other calamity areas, and on strengthening public institutions,” Coloma added.
During the meeting, Coloma said Aquino urged Cabinet members to intensify the implementation of government programs to boost inclusive growth.