Press Release
December 29, 2009

Year-end report on the national budget

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said the allocations for infrastructure and human capital development in the 2010 national budget will allow the country to sustain its recovery next year from the global financial crisis, with education, science and technology, environment and climate change mitigation, health, and infrastructure identified as main priority areas in government's spending plan next year.

Angara emphasized that these activities enhance growth and productivity, and will allow the country to meet the twin goals of job creation and green development next year.

"With the year 2009 coming to a close, we need to gear up for next year's challenges - a fragile recovery from the global financial crisis, not to mention the need to recuperate from the natural disasters which cost us almost US$5billion in losses. The best preparation we can make is to map out an intelligent spending plan for the country," said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

"The P1.541 trillion national budget for 2010 is designed to stimulate the economy through massive human capital development, as well as to pursue a green and sustainable growth," he said.

"This entails capitalizing on our rich renewable energy resources and enriching our human resources, thereby creating green jobs and income opportunities. We emphasize the promotion of clean technologies, realizing our huge potential for renewable energy, filling our huge infrastructure gaps, and raising our educational qualification, agricultural productivity and shoring up a failing health care system," said Angara.

The 2010 national budget channels vital resources into the construction of major roads and bridges that will open up the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector across various provinces in the country, and create jobs for many Filipinos.

These include the Los Baños Interchange, (P500 million), the Dinadiawan-Madela National Road in Quirino and Aurora (P470 million), Pantabangan Bridge in Nueva Ecija (P502 million), the Butuan City By-Pass Road (P185 million), the Allen-malaga Road Section in Northern Samar (P500 million), Surigao-Davao Coastal Road (P728 million), Cebu North Coastal Road (P597 million), the Upgrading of Junction Sayre Highway in Valencia City (P120 million) and the Sinsayon-Dabinan West Plaridel-Patul-Rosatio-Caloocan (P200 million).

Also included in the budget is a P2.5 billion allocation for the purchase of equipment for disaster preparedness and response, as well as rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas.

Said allocations bring the country's public works budget to P126.9 billion, bringing the 2010 DPWH budget closer to its 2009 level of 129.890B. The President's 2010 budget is P96.607B, which is 33.283B lower than the 2009 level - hence, the P30 billion additional allocation by Congress.

The 2010 General Appropriations Act also recommends a higher spending level for education (DepEd, SUCs and CHED) at P185.5 B; pension and gratuity, P79.9 B; land reform, P20.8 B; health, P30.4 B; transportation and communications, P16.6 B; and social welfare and development, P15.3 B.

"We are making vital investments in human capital development to prevent our economy from shrinking," said Angara.

In the area of S&T, education and innovation, the national budget allocates P50M for Science, Technology and Engineering Scholarships and Exchange Student Programs for Filipinos in Taiwan, Korea and Japan; P300 million for the Engineering Research and Development Technology (ERDT) consortium of seven top engineering universities; P73 M for the construction of school buildings and additional MOOEs for SUCs; P100M for the establishment of the Philippine Industrial R&D Institute for semiconductors and electronics; P100 M for the National Tele Health Project (under DOH, with UP-PGH as implementing agency); P100M for the establishment of the Renewable Energy R&D Institute (RERDI); and P100M to set up the Philippine Disaster Preparedness Center.

He added "we are also putting resources into the implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Solid Waste Management Act which the Supreme Court itself has directed, upgrading of State Universities and Colleges, construction of school buildings in underserved areas, and the funding of industrial and renewable energy research and development through DOST."

More than P500 million is allocated for greening efforts, with P30M allocated for the implementation of the Clear Air and Clean Water Act, P37M to implement the Solid Waste Management Act, P180 M for protected areas, P50M for the rehabilitation of lakes and rivers, P50 M for mapping of forest cover, P25M for a seedling program, P50 M for community-based forest management, P25M for air quality management, P35M to dismantle illegal structures, and P100M for the operation of the Climate Change Commission.

Further, Congress is allocating more funds to expand the coverage of the national health insurance to indigent families, as well as to augment the pension and gratuity of the police and military as proposed by Senator Richard Gordon and Senator Ping Lacson.

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