Aquino signs 2014 national budget
President Benigno Aquino III has signed the P2.265-trillion 2014 national budget on Friday, December 20.
Aquino expressed his gratitude to the Congress for passing the budget bill on time. This was the fourth time that the national budget was passed on time.
“Dahil po dito, hindi lamang natin agarang naipapatupad ang mga prayoridad na proyekto, natatapalan din natin ang maraming butas na maaaring pagmulan ng pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan at sa kaban ng bayan [Because of this, we just not implement the priority projects on time, we also avoid the instances which abuse of power and corruption take place],” he said.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is the country’s first “Performance-Informed Budget,” a reform that ties agencies’ budget to specific standards of performance and service delivery.
The budget is P3 billion lower than Aquino’s proposal as certain allocations including the pork barrel have been removed by the Congress. The Supreme Court declared the pork barrel unconstitutional last November 19.
It is the first time that the budget has no allocation for the congressional pork barrel.
However, the budget is 13 percent or P258.7 billion higher than the current year’s budget, DBM noted.
Of the total budget, P841.8 billion have been allocated to the social services. It comprises 37.2 percent of the total budget.
The administration’s priority program Conditional Cash Transfer got P62.6 billion while the construction and repair of public school classrooms have P44.6 billion.
Meanwhile, 26.2 percent of the budget (P593.1 billion) is allocated to economic services — P94.3 billion allocation for construction of national roads, P10.7 billion for technical support services, and P5.5 billion for tourism promotion, DBM added.
The government’s disaster preparedness and rehabilitation programs received one of the biggest increase.
Aside from the P13 billion Calamity Fund, the government has allocated P100 billion lump sum rehabilitation fund for calamity-hit areas in the country.
Senate President Franklin Drilon welcomed the signing of the budget, which he said should “translate to the timely activation of urgently needed services, particularly the rehabilitation of calamity-stricken areas.”