President Rodrigo Roa Duterte just signed the 2020 national budget, averting what could have been a potential slowdown of economic growth similar to what happened last year.
This year’s 4.1 trillion peso General Appropriations Act is 9% higher than the 3.76 trillion pesos last 2019. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the “delay” was due to the president’s close scrutiny of the proposed bill.
In a speech, Duterte says the proposed budget aims to lower poverty incidence to 14% and make the country an “upper bracket income country.”
“As in previous years, we will continue to allocate a great portion of our national budget for infrastructure development and social services – programs that will directly touch the lives of our people,” he said.
Government will spend 36% for education, healthcare, housing and social welfare. Nearly 30% of the budget will fund infrastructure projects, tourism, trade, job generation and agricultural projects while a big chunk, 11%, was allocated for debt servicing.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson recently called on Malacanan to closely study the budget measure as Lacson thinks that there are “hidden” pork-laden projects inserted unto the bill.