Press Release
May 29, 2006

Delay in passage of budget disastrous

If the budget is not approved, it will be disastrous to government efforts to reduce poverty. Thus, it will also affect spending for education, health and social services, which has been declining for the past years.

This was stressed by Senator Edgardo J. Angara yesterday during the budget hearing at the Senate where he also lamented the fact that no one seems to be paying much attention to such an important piece of legislation.

In many countries with parliamentary democracies, the national budget is probably the most publicized and analyzed issue. Here, it seems to be the opposite, Angara said.

But what about the future of our children, the shortage of classrooms and teachers and the deterioration of our school system? There does not seem to be any direct analysis of the impact of the national budget in the different aspects of Philippine life, he added.

Education spending in the Philippines has been declining; in 2004, it totaled 14.85 percent, in 2005 14.74 percent and this year 13.9 percent

As for health, spending has also been going down. From 1.67 of the national budget in 2004, it has been reduced to 1.41 percent as of 2005. This year, it went down even further 1.30 percent.

If translated into a per capita spending for education, the country was allocating only P5,142 pesos per pupil in 2004. Today, its down to P4,782 pesos.

Angara said the budget is a tool of economic development. There is a direct correlation between the GDP target and poverty reduction, he noted.

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