Press Release
November 28, 2012

Senate approves P2.006-T budget for 2013

The Senate today approved on third and final reading the proposed P2.006 trillion national budget for 2013 which Senate Finance Committee chairman Franklin M. Drilon described as a tool for people's empowerment.

The budget - 10.5 percent higher than this year's P1.816 trillion. Fourteen Senators voted in favor of the budget, while Senator Joker Arroyo was the only one who cast a negative vote.

Next year's budget is slated to provide P698.4 billion for social services program, P510.9 billion for economic services and P333.9 billion for debt service, noted Drilon.

"The budget is directed to provide funding for public services, which would provide more jobs, better education, improved healthcare services and empowerment of the Filipino people in nation building," Drilon explained.

"The 2013 national budget, once signed into law, will provide for funds to finally close the resource gaps in education system such as the shortage of teachers and educational resources, as well as the lack of enough classrooms," he said.

"The President's instruction in his last State of the Nation Address is clear: to completely address by next year the classroom backlogs of 66,800," stressed Drilon.

To attain this, Drilon said the Department of Education (DepEd) will have the biggest budget, amounting to P292.7 billion, 22.6 percent higher compared to this year's budget. The bigger budget for DepEd will also help boost the K+12 Program being implemented by the department, he noted.

Also, Drilon said the budget, once enacted into law, will continue to invest in social protection package of about 3.8 million indigent families through the conditional cash transfer program which is allotted P44.25 billion in 2013 from P39.5 billion this year. Aside from this, P12.6 billion has been provided for the enrolment in Philhealth of 5.2 million poor families.

Bicameral Conference Committee members who will represent the Senate include Senators Ralph Recto, Teofisto "TG" Guingona, Panfilo Lacson, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is the second highest government agency with a budget allocation of P152.9 billion, followed by the Department of National Defense (DND) with P121.6 billion.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will receive P121.1 billion while the Department of Agriculture (DA) will get P74.1 billion.

The Department of Health (DOH) will receive P56.8 billion, followed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P56.2 billion, Department of Transportation and Communication with P37.1 billion, Department of Finance with P33.2 billion and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with P 23.7 billion.

The Office of the President will receive P2.7 billion, which is slightly higher than last year's P2.595 billion while P9.8 billion will be allotted for Congress. The Office of the Vice President will get P420.5 million. The Judiciary will receive P17.7 billion compared to P15.075 billion this year.

The target date for the budget to be signed by the President is third week of December, ended Drilon. (OLIVE CAUNAN)

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