President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the proposed national budget for 2020 worth PHP4.1 trillion, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte approved the proposed 2020 cash-based national budget during the Cabinet meeting that started Monday (Aug. 5) night.
The PHP4.1-trillion budget is 12 percent more than this year’s PHP3.7-trillion expenditure program.
Last year, Duterte submitted the proposed PHP3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 to Congress, on the same day he delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
However, the government operated on a reenacted budget since January 1 this year after lawmakers failed to pass the bill on time due to a budget impasse in Congress.
Duterte finally signed the 2019 budget but vetoed several provisions on April 15, 2019.
Malacañang has yet to announce when it will be transmitting the budget proposal to the Congress but has 30 days from his fourth SONA to do so or until August 22.
In a statement, Panelo described the budget proposal as one that would “respond to the needs” of majority of Filipinos.
“This budget proposal is designed to respond to the needs of the majority of our countrymen longing to be uprooted from the decades of: want of basic necessities, inadequate supply of basic services, lack of infrastructures required to spur economic growth, absence of accountability on government coffers, vexing bureaucratic rigmarole, deprived education and unchanged poverty, and geared to achieve a more peaceful and progressive Philippines where the living standards of Filipinos are raised,” Panelo said.
Panelo assured the public that the budget’s biggest slice will be allotted to education, followed by public works, transportation, and health.
Moreover, he said the budget will be spent “wisely to reach a state of vibrant economy that will be felt by the citizenry.”
The Palace has expressed hope that the 2020 budget would be approved without any delays. PNA