Philippine President Aquino OKs first $120 Billion national budget

Philippine President Aquino OKs first $120 Billion national budget
President Benigno Aquino III.

MANILA, Philippines- President Aquino on Monday approved the national budget for his final year in office, which will be the first to breach P3 trillion (S$119.8 b).

In a statement, Presidential Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino met with his Cabinet on Monday to finalize the P3.002-trillion 2016 budget, which is 15.2 per cent higher than this year's national outlay, and will account for 19.5 per cent of the economy as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP).

Coloma said the budget was anchored on four key principles: Spending will be limited within the country's means; investments will be made in "right priorities"; results will be measurable; and fiscal transparency, accountability and citizen participation will be ensured.

The top five priorities in the budget are: Good governance and anticorruption; inclusive growth; sustaining growth; managing disaster risks; and forging just and lasting peace.

The biggest allocations in the budget are for the Department of Education, P436.5 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways, P401.14 billion; Department of National Defence, P172 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P156 billion; Department of Health, P128.5 billion; and Department of Social Welfare and Development, P107.6 billion.

Coloma said the President's priority next year is to ensure the completion of programs under his term, specifically public infrastructure and rehabilitation of calamity areas, particularly those affected by Supertyphoon "Yolanda."


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