Press Release
November 21, 2012


Senator Franklin M. Drilon asked his colleagues to immediately enact the proposed P2.006 trillion 2013 national budget that he sponsored on the floor today.

Drilon likewise recommended several amendments to House Bill No. 6455 or the General Appropriations Act of 2013 to ensure that it will meet the nation's most urgent needs and that public funds are managed prudently and judiciously.

"We are again at a pivotal moment in our nation's history when we assume our constitutional duty to shape the national budget and the national destiny. I stand before you today to present for the approval of this august chamber the proposed national budget for 2013 that will have a direct impact on the lives of an estimated 100 million Filipinos," said Drilon. He said the 2013 national budget, which he described as "Empowerment Budget of 2013: A Bridge of Hope," is anchored on the gains in 2012. "This year can be best described as an annus mirabilis - a wonderful year - for Philippine governance. What bountiful harvest we may reap this year, will comprise our very fiscal and social capital for next year's gains," he said. Among Drilon committee's proposed amendments are:

  • Incremental funds for the Bureau of Immigration to buy five passport reading machines;

  • Additional funds for repairs and maintenance for the Anti-Money Laundering Program;

  • Reduction of P27.5 million in the budget of the Southern Philippines Development Authority;

  • Realignment of P1 million from maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) to capital outlays (CO) within the budget of the Supreme Court for the construction of the Manila Hall of Justice; and

  • Realignment of P500 thousand within the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide for purchase of land and construction of building to serve as warehouse for PCOS machines

Drilon also recommended to specify under the unprogrammed funds the amount of P23.4 billion for the Universal Health Care Program which is subject to the incremental revenue from the enactment of the sin tax reform bill.

Moreover, Drilon put forward amendments on Special and General Provisions of the bill. For one, he included "pre-disaster activities" in the utilization of the Quick Response Fund (QRF) under the Department of National Defense - Office of the Secretary and the Office of the Civil Defense. Presently, the QRF is used only as a standby fund for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction project.

In this connection, Drilon proposed an amendment on the Use and Disbursement of Internal Revenue Allotment of local government units to require them to post their utilization of the local disaster risk reduction and management fund in three publicly accessible and conspicuous places.

He also asked the deletion of the special provision on funds for unfilled positions which violates the provision on fiscal autonomy of Constitutional offices including the Judiciary, Congress, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Comelec and the Office of the Ombudsman.

He also seeks the inclusion of national roads and bridges, as well as school buildings among the infrastructure projects that may be funded by the priority development assistance fund.

Drilon's committee also recommended new provisions such as:

  • New special provision under the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development earmarking P40 million for research projects on algae research and commercialization, precision farming, and smart agriculture.

  • New special provision under the Philippine Council for Industry Energy Research and Emerging Technology Research and Development earmarking another P40 million for research projects on disaster science and management, and responsible mining technologies.

  • New special provision under the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines providing P630 million to augment the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF), and another new provision stating that in addition to their appropriations, the PDMF fund, which is structured and to be managed and administered as a revolving fund, will have reimbursements of technical assistance fees directly from the winning bidder of the PPP project or from the implementing agencies.

  • New special provision under the E-Government Fund on the Funding for the Innovation Clusters, earmarking P50 million for research projects and activities for cloud computing and software-as-a service.

  • New special provision under the Unprogrammed Fund on the Universal Health Care Program amounting to P23.4 billion to cover the Philhealth premium of workers in the informal sector, health facilities enhancement program, preventive and promotive health programs, and policy and regulation standard, subject to the incremental revenue from the enactment of the law restructuring the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products. Drilon said the Senate will continue holding extended sessions that start every 2 o'clock in the afternoon and they intend to finish the budget deliberations and interpellations by November 27. They target the approval of the budget the following day, November 28.

The proposed P2.006 trillion 2013 national budget is 10.5 percent higher than the P1.816 trillion budget this year, and represents 16.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, he noted.

News Latest News Feed