Press Release
April 5, 2019

Despite cuts, 2019 budget provides higher budget to PRRD's priority projects

President Duterte's priority projects, including his flagship "Build, Build, Build" program have not been compromised in the 2019 national budget as the P549.390 billion in new appropriations for Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) approved by Congress is even P4.869 billion higher than the proposal presented by Malacanang.

As far as the DPWH is concerned, the Senate's Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO) data showed that the enrolled bill transmitted to the President reflected an increase of P32.923 billion compared to the P516.467 approved by the House of Representatives.

Under the National Expenditure Program (NEP), otherwise known as the President's budget, the government's premier infrastructure agency was allocated P544.52 billion.

During floor deliberations on the 2019 DPWH budget last December, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar told the Senate finance committee that the agency still had unutilized funds from its FY 2018 appropriations and that it does not need P20 billion in Road Right of Way (RROW) funds for 2019. Villar agreed when asked if the Senate can reduce the RROW budget by that amount.

Under the law, RROW cases must be settled before infrastructure projects could be implemented.

Records further showed that whatever was cut on foreign-assisted projects in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB), it was offset by the increase on local projects.

As to the Pension and Gratuity Fund, the LBRMO said that while its P117-billion allocation reflected a cut, it's still P9 billion higher than last year's actual utilization of P108 billion.

The LBRMO's data shows the following are some of the amendments on the 2019 GAB that will explain the Senate cuts and increases:

  • P1.775 billion increase in Congress budget will cover the additional operating requirements of the Commission on Appointments and Senate, including the funds for the construction of the new Senate building;

  • P215.7 million increase in the Office of the Vice President is for various social programs and special duty allowance of security officers assigned to the OVP;

  • P2.521 billion increase in Department of Education (DepEd) budget will cover the P800 million teachers' allowance, additional school-based feeding program, computerization program etc as well as funding for regular programs/projects of the National Museum;

  • P2.813 billion increase to selected State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) is allotted for its capital outlays;

  • P110.276 million increase in Department of Energy's (DOE) budget is intended is to augment the operating requirements of its Investment Promotion Unit;

  •  P200 million increase to the Department of Finance (DOF) budget will be for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) building in Makati City;

  • P21.523 billion increase to the Department of Health (DOH) included the P15 billion for health facilities enhancement program and P4.797 billion to complete the P7 billion requirement for human resource for health development;

  • P2.047 billion increase in the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) will be for the ICT industry and countryside development;

  • P1.747 billion increase given to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will fund the construction of building for Emergency 911 Command Center, additional MOOE to cover the requirement of new hires and additional capital outlay funds of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and fire fighting equipment, rescue vehicles and fire trucks are also provided for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP);

  • P1.312 billion in the Department of Justice (DOJ) budget will augment the creation of a special task force and victims' assistance program for OFWs, construction and repair of prison facilities and additional confidential and rental expenses for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI);

  • P2.612 billion additional funds for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall be for emergency repatriation of OFWs and for implementation of the continuing professional development and professional regulation program of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC);

  • P3.098 billion increase to the Department of National Defense (DND) will cover the P48.766 million for Task Force and Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) for rebel returnees, P850 million additional allowance for CAFGU and additional funding for veterans hospitalization and medical care program;

  • P450.250 million adjustment in the budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is for its community empowerment and several programs;

  • P3.158 billion additional funds for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are for its enhanced programs, cost of service of employees implementing the CCT program and the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (JJWC) which will get P1 billion for Bahay Pag-asa to address the needs of children in conflict with the law;

  • P8.112 billion to Other Executive Offices (OEOs)

  • P2.191 billion to the Judiciary to cover the construction of the Cagayan De Oro Complex and halls of justice under the Supreme Court; construction of Sandiganbayan II and Court of Appeals' buildings;

  • P2.886 billion increase to Constitutional Offices to finance the various projects of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), additional PS, MOOE and CO for the restructuring requirements of the Office of the Ombudsman, additional allocation for Commission on Elections' (Comelec) overseas Filipinos' absentee voting and postage fees, construction of provincial satellite office of the Commission on Audit (COA), reactivation of the Philippine Civil Service Academy and changes in the budget of the Civil Service Commission (CSC);

  • Reduction in the Special Purpose Funds (SPF), Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) due to realignment of funds to DOH and DSWD and other agencies for the creation of positions, and P39 billion in PGF;

  • The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (DENR) National Greening Program which was supposed to end by 2016 will receive a lower allocation of P2.6 billion. A portion of the NGP was realigned to protected areas and coastal and marine resources in the amount of P230 million while funds were also provided for the pollution laboratories in Visayas and Mindanao under the Environment Management Bureau;

  • P6.855 billion reduction in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) budget is due to the cut on the SEA Games budget and transfer of the balance of P5 billion to Philippine Sports Commission; and

  • P1.560 billion cut in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) refers to the allocation for Quality Tertiary Education of TESDA, since its 2018 budget for the said item has not been fully utilized and is still available in 2019.

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