Manila—(PHStocks)—President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has approved the proposed P3.002 trillion 2016 national budget after presiding over a Cabinet meeting today. This represents a 15.2 percent increase from the 2015 national budget and comprises 19.5 percent of the country’s GDP, Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a statement.
“The proposed budget with the theme, ‘Paggugol na Matuwid: Saligan sa Tuloy-Tuloy na Pag-Unlad’, is anchored on the following principles: (1) Spending within our means; (2) Investing in the right priorities; (3) Delivering measurable results; and (4) Empowering citizens through fiscal transparency, accountability and participation. According to DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, the spending priorities are in the following areas of the administration’s 2011-2016 development program, namely: (1) Good Governance and Anti-Corruption; (2) Ensuring Inclusive Growth; (3) Sustaining the Growth Momentum;(4) Managing Disaster Risks; and (5) Forging Just and Lasting Peace,” Coloma said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) gets the biggest chunk of the budget with P436.5 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P401.14 billion, the Department of National Defense, P172 billion, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), P156 billion, the Department of Health (DoH), P128.5 billion, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P107.6 billion.
Coloma said the combined budgets of the DepEd and the DPWH represent more than a quarter of the total 2016 National Budget.
He added that among all the agencies in the Executive Department, the DPWH and DoH received the highest increases in their annual budgets at 32 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively.
This he said is, part of the 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.
Coloma also said that President Aquino 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, and on strengthening public institutions.
The budget message will be submitted to Congress a day after the President delivers his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27.