3.757 trillion budget for 2019

Approved by House on 2nd Reading

4 October 2018 11:11:00 AM

Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other House Members jubilantly flash the trademark closed fist sign of President Duterte after the House of Representatives approved on second reading Wednesday night House Bill 8169 or the Fiscal Year 2019 General Appropriations Bill which provides for a national budget of P3.757 trillion for next year. The budget will fund various priority socio-economic, infrastructure and other projects of the government, guided by the theme “Building a Bright Future for the Philippines and Its People.” The House aims to pass the bill on third and final reading before the congressional recess on Oct. 12, 2018. | Rowena B. Bundang/Perfecto Camero

House approves P3.757-T national budget for FY 2019 on second reading

04 October 2018 10:26:36 AM

After 11 days of exhaustive plenary deliberations, the House of Representatives, through viva voce voting, approved on second reading Wednesday night House Bill 8169 or the Fiscal Year 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) which provides for a national budget of P3.757 trillion for next year.

The timely approval of the budget ensures there will be no budget re-enactment next year.

Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been closely following the progress of HB 8169 to ensure the House remains on track with its schedule to pass it on final reading before the Oct. 12 congressional recess. On Monday night, she and other House members stayed until the interpellations on the defense department’s budget were terminated at 6 am of Tuesday.

In last night’s period of individual amendments, Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said pursuant to parliamentary precedence, he proposed the creation of a small committee to receive and resolve amendments to HB 8169.

He named the following as members to the small committee: For the Majority: Committee on Appropriations Senior Vice Chairperson Maria Carmen Zamora, Reps. Federico Sandoval II and Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon; for the Committee on Rules: Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.; and for the Minority: Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Reps. Anthony Bravo and Edcel Lagman.

The deadline for the submission of amendments is set on October 9, 2018.

During the lump sum fund interpellation, Rep. Makmod Mending Jr. (Party-list, AMIN) expressed concern that the release of the P3.5 billion fund for the Marawi Rehabilitation, which currently has a validity of one year, might encounter bureaucratic delay.

He explained that this is posed by the establishment of Task Force Bangon Marawi, which became an added layer to the budget release that previously only had to pass through the Office of Civil Defense and the Office of the President.

But Committee on Appropriations Senior Vice Chairman Joey Salceda assured Mending that he will take part in the joint resolution that shall extend the life span of the Marawi Rehabilitation Fund.

Salceda also explained that under the 2019 appropriation, there is greater fiscal discipline and prudent use of budget, faster and improved delivery of essential public services, and more open and accountable government.

For the fiscal year 2019, the education sector will get the lion’s share of the national budget. The total proposed funding for Department of Education (DepEd), state universities and colleges (SUCs), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of P659.3 billion marks a 12.3 percent or P72.2 billion growth over their 2018 budget of P587.1 billion.

Of the proposed appropriations of P659.3 billion for the education sector, P528.8 billion will be allocated to DepEd; P65.2 billion will go to SUCs; P50.5 billion to CHED; and P14.8 billion to TESDA.

The DPWH will receive the second highest allocation with P555.7 billion, which represents an increase of 25.8 percent or P113.9 billion compared to its P441.8 billion budget in 2018.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will receive the third largest appropriation in 2019 with P225.6 billion. This is 30.9 percent or P53.2 billion than its 2018 funding of P172.4 billion.

The other top recipients shall be the Department of National Defense (DND), P183.4 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P173.3 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P141.2 billion, which includes P67.4 billion for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC); Department of Transportation (DOTr), P141.4 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), P76.1 billion; the Judiciary with P37.3 billion; and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), P32.3 billion.

The infrastructure program for 2019, which shall receive an appropriation of P909.7 billion, will fuel the administration’s massive Build Build Build Program.

In his budget message to Congress, President Duterte said the country is now moving towards half-time in the period that has been given to him and his Administration, to enable the Filipino people to experience the life that they aspire for, the life that they deserve.

“We are almost midway to the path that our people have chosen to traverse with us, one that will take them from mere hopes and dreams of the past to the reality of a better and more comfortable life, in a peaceful and more progressive nation today. We are finally poised on the bridge that will lead us to the bright future that we can actually already glimpse,” said the President.

Among the key budget priorities the President identified for 2019 are : 1) intensifying infrastructure development through infrastructure projects in and outside Metro Manila and in local government units (LGUs), and through Information Technology (IT) infrastructures; 2) expanding programs on human development; 3) enhancing social services through expanded educational opportunities, universal health for all, and social protection; 4) continuing provisions for the people’s basic needs by ensuring food security and securing meaningful employment; 5) rehabilitating Marawi and moving forward ; 6) building a more secure nation through hiring of more police officers and enhancing the capability of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and ensuring efficient administration of justice.

The theme for the 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP) is “Building a Bright Future for the Philippines and Its People” which is consistent with the administration’s goal of transforming the country into a middle-income society where everyone has the opportunity to make his or her life better through provision of infrastructure and human capital development. | Rowena B. Bundang/ Ma. Victoria Palomar/ Czarina Engracia/ Monel Gonza

the noblest motive is the greatest good for the greatest number