Press Release
November 27, 2012


The Senate appears poised to vote Wednesday on third and final reading on a P2.006 trillion 2013 national budget that provides P698.4 billion or 34.8 percent for social services including the P44.25 billion conditional cash transfer program, said Senate Finance Committee chairman Franklin Drilon.

"I am confident that our colleagues have seen the urgency of this bill and that all their concerns and clarifications were already addressed during the last three extended session days," said Drilon.

Should the body pass the budget bill today being certified urgent, we can start tomorrow, as scheduled, the Bicameral Committee Conference that is expected to last until next week, he noted.

"Since our committee did not propose major amendments to the House version, I see no conflicts with the House of Representatives if we ask to hasten the approval of the bill," Drilon added.

Drilon said the 2013 budget would finally address the shortage problem of public teachers, the lack of public school classrooms and provided the needed funds to improve government's services in public health.

Drilon said items that would provide assistance to more than three million indigent families, additional funding for public hospitals were among the highlights of the budget measure, and close the gap on the shortages of public school teachers, classroom and textbooks.

Under the budget bill, the Department of Education will receive 22.6 percent increase from their 2012 budget of P292.7 billion to address its shortages on education necessities as well as to support the department's K+12 program.

Drilon revealed the budget measure will also provide P152.9 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways to shore up various infrastructure projects, P121.6 billion to the Department of National Defense, P121.1 billion to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, P74.1 billion to the Department of Agriculture to support its rice self-sufficiency target, P56.8 billion to the Department of Health, P56.2 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He said the budget bill can be ratified by both chambers of Congress soon and be presented for the President's signature by the third week of December.

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