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Aquino okays Php3.002-Trillion proposed '16 budget

 • 05:49 AM Tue Jul 7, 2015

MANILA -- The Education, Public Works and Highways and the National Defense departments continue to have the biggest allocation in the proposed Php3.002 trillion 2016 national budget, which President Benigno Aquino III approved Monday.Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a statement, said the planned national budget for next year is 15.2 percent higher than this year's Php2.606 trillion and accounts to about 19.5 percent of the country's total output.But while the Department of Education (DepEd) received the highest allocation, it is the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Health (DOH) that were given big increases.DepEd's proposed budget for next year amounts to Php436.5 billion, or 18.9 percent higher than its Php367.1 billion budget this year.Meanwhile, the proposed budget for DPWH and DOH jumped by 32 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively.DPWH got a proposed budget amounting to Php401.14 billion from this year's Php303.2 billion, while DOH's budget for 2016 amounts to Php128.5 billion from Php103.9 billion this year.Coloma attributed the hike in these two departments' budget to efforts to boost public infrastructure development and support economic expansion as well as to improve health care services especially to the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society. The bid to put in place necessary infrastructure were stressed by the President during the Cabinet meeting, he said after the Chief Executive directed all Cabinet members to intensify efforts at completing the delivery of programs, especially those on public infrastructure, including the rehabilitation of Yolanda -affected and other calamity areas. Relatively, the proposed budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) next year amounts to Php172 billion, higher than this year's Php144.5 billion and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is Php156 billion from Php141.4 billion this year.On the other hand, proposed budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for next year amounts to Php107.6 billion, slighlty lower than its Php108.2 billion budget this year.Coloma, in a text message to PNA, said the adjustment in the department's proposed 2016 budget is not big or significant since other agencies focused on the delivery of social services such as education, health and housing were proposed to have budget increases.The planned 2016 national budget is scheduled to be submitted to Congress on July 28, 2015, a day after the President delivers his final State of the Nation Address (SONA).Earlier, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said debt service under the proposed budget for next year accounts for 14 percent of the total budget at about Php419 billion.Also, 85 percent of next year's proposed borrowing program will be sourced on-shore while the balance of 15 percent will come from foreign creditors with the bias still on domestic borrowing to lessen foreign exchange risks.Relatively, Abad said infrastructure spending for next year was placed at Php768 billion, which already includes those for local government units (LGUs).The government has been increasing its infrastructure spending and targets this to account to about five percent of GDP by 2016 to ensure that necessary infrastructure would be in place to sustain the strong domestic growth. (PNA)

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