Press Release
December 1, 2009


Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today urged the Senate to approve the P1.541 Trillion national budget for fiscal year 2010, highlighting economic crisis recovery, poverty alleviation, education, research and development (R&D), health, science and technology and the environment as core issues to address.

"This budget is all about growing the economy and greening the country, emphasizing 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 reviving a failing health care system. These will become the drivers of our nation's growth," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

Angara emphasized the need to maintain a level of growth for the country, pointing out that a 1% drop in GDP growth is equal to a 1.35% rise in poverty incidence; this means 930,000 more people fall below the poverty line for every 1% GDP drop. On the other hand a 1% deficit spending, when put into infrastructure and human capital development, will increase GDP growth by .0161%.

Angara said that the years 2010-2016 will be critical for the Philippines and that the next administration faces a daunting challenge of a growing population, stressed environment, technological breakthroughs and a restructured global financial market. He warned that the country risks depleting resources that support a growing population; and reminded that climate change has drastically altered not only the ecosystems but also forced more people into poverty and the threat of more catastrophic natural disasters. "Mitigation and adaptation measures should be taken, and the people most vulnerable to its consequences must be given disaster preparedness training," he added.

Angara submitted that the national budget takes on green and sustainable growth by improving public services, capitalizing on rich renewable energy resources, human resources and creating green jobs and income opportunities that provide better life for Filipinos.

"We learned from Ondoy and Pepeng that we need a more efficient disaster prediction and response system to prevent loss of life and property. We need to enhance our human, technical and institutional capacity on disaster risk reduction. Greening the country is an integral component of our development agenda - harnessing our rich natural resources and protecting the environment for sustainable growth," said Angara, author of the Renewable Energy Law.

"We saw the damage of super typhoons to our agriculture, livelihood and public infrastructure, not to mention the painful loss of life. We lost P48 billion in agriculture damage. Roads, bridges and classrooms destroyed were worth P11.08 billion. Over 1.44 million families lost their homes. In the wake of this devastation, we are faced with the difficult task of rebuilding our communities and disaster-proofing our country," added Angara.

The 2010 budget proposal is a slight increase of this year's P1.415 Trillion, P56.1-billion of which was allocated as stimulus fund to help the country cope with the global economic crisis. Angara's legislations are likewise known as geared towards economic recovery, environmental protection, education and health care improvement and agricultural development. "I am hopeful and positive this budget will realize our goals for progress and provide a better quality of life for Filipinos, Angara concluded."

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