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Palace submits proposed P1.816-trillion budget for 2012 to Congress

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Malacanang submitted to Congress on Tuesday the proposed P1.816-trillion budget for 2012, which is higher by P171 billion or 10.4 percent than the current year’s P1.645-trillion budget.

The proposed 2012 national budget represents 16.5 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) and is based on a conservative growth assumption of 5.5 percent even as the administration continues to vie for 7-8 percent growth for 2012.

Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad personally delivered the copy of the proposed 2012 national budget to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other lawmakers.

Abad said the budget deficit is expected to be reduced to P286 billion or 2.6 percent of GDP, lower than this year’s target of P300 billion or three percent of GDP.

He said this was in line with the goal to significantly reduce the budget deficit to two percent of GDP by 2013.

"The 2012 national budget is a results-focused budget that is focused on fulfilling President (Benigno) Aquino III’s social contract with the Filipino people," the DBM chief said.

"We have scaled up funding for programs and projects that lead to direct, immediate and substantial benefits to the poor. At the same time, we scaled down funding for activities which have been ineffective and prone to corruption," he added.

Belmonte said the early submission of the proposed budget to Congress by Malacanang means they will be able to deliberate on this sooner, unlike in the past.

"We will do our earnest to see to it that we follow a schedule to enable the President to approve it before the end of the year," he said.

Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the House appropriations committee, said hearings will begin on August 1, and hoped the budget would be signed by December 15.

Under the proposed 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the Department of Education (DepEd) will continue to receive the highest allocation, at P238.8 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P125.5 billion, and the Department of National Defense (DND) with P107.9 billion. (PNA-by Lilybeth G. Ison)




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