Duterte to turn over 2018 budget on SONA

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Rodrigo Duterte will submit to the House of Representatives the proposed national budget for next year on the day of his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) this month, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Friday.

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During the “Mindanao Hour” news briefing in Malacañang, Diokno said the administration was on track to submit the proposed the P3.767-trillion proposed budget to Congress on July 24, the same day when the second regular session of the 17th Congress opens.

“The President plans to submit the budget on the day of the SONA itself. So that’s a first time in Philippine history. Why are we doing this? So we can have an early start for the 2018,” Diokno told reporters.

He said the proposed 2018 national budget, which the President had approved, allocates the largest outlays to education and infrastructure development.

“Now this project is consistent with President Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program to usher in the ‘golden age of infrastructure’ in the Philippines and his desire to develop the Filipino youth into an agile, competent workforce for the future,” Diokno said.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed the Duterte administration would set aside the biggest slice of the nation’s budget next year for social services, at 41.2 percent of the total, or P1.551 trillion.
Education, culture and manpower development will get P794 billion; social security, welfare and employment, P369.6 billion; and health, P177.6 billion.

At least 29.4 percent or P1.106 trillion will be allocated to economic services, such as infrastructure spending on power, water, transportation and communications (P734.5 billion) and agriculture and agrarian reform (P133.2 billion).

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