With 2020 budget nearly out of the way, Palace wraps record P4.6T 2021 spending plan for Congress
President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team on Wednesday (Dec. 11) approved for transmission to Congress a record P4.64 trillion cash national budget for 2021 while praising the timely passage of the 2020 spending bill in the bicameral conference committee.
After a meeting of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), a Cabinet-level body, acting Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said the 2021 budget proposal would be more than 13 percent higher than the P4.1 trillion proposed budget for 2020.
The 2021 proposed budget would be equivalent to a little over 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Avisado said.
He said it would “continue to support antipoverty and peace-sustaining measures” which included funding of recently enacted laws.
Among the programs tagged by Avisado as priority for funding in 2021 are universal health care, cash subsidy for the poor, aid to farmers hurt by rice importation, share of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, wider access to college education, national government assistance to LGUs with high poverty rates and climate change mitigating measures.
The 2020 and 2021 budgets would adopt the cash budgeting system as provided by Executive Order No. 91 issued by Duterte last September.
This means the national budgets in the next two years would have a validity of only one year, Avisado said.
Duterte’s economic managers also welcomed the bicameral approval of the proposed 2020 budget before legislators take a Christmas break.
The bicameral body on Wednesday signed the report endorsing the 2020 proposed budget for ratification by both chambers of Congress and signing by Duterte.
Avisado said he expected the President to sign the 2020 national budget into law “within the month.”
Budget deliberations in Congress, he said, were “certainly much improved over last year.”
“We’re quite pleased that we will start next year with an honest-to-goodness 2020 budget rather than what happened this year,” said Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
He was referring to the delay in the passage by Congress of the 2019 national budget after legislators bickered over pork funds that they could pocket.
The delay caused the government to underspend by about P1 billion per day using the 2018 national budget. GDP took a big hit as a result.
Edited by TSB
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