By Azer Parrocha
President Duterte has approved the proposed national budget for 2020, amounting to P4.1 trillion, during the Cabinet meeting at Malacañang that started Monday night, August 5.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed today that Duterte approved the proposed 2020 cash-based national budget which is 12 percent more than this year’s P3.7-trillion expenditure program.
Last year, the President had submitted the proposed P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 to Congress, on the same day he delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
However, the government operated on a reenacted budget since January 1 this year after lawmakers failed to pass the bill on time due to a budget impasse in Congress.
Duterte finally signed the 2019 budget last April 15, but vetoed several provisions.
Malacañang has yet to announce when it will be transmitting the budget proposal to Congress but has 30 days from his fourth SONA to do so or until August 22.
In a statement, Panelo described the budget proposal as one that would “respond to the needs” of majority of Filipinos.
“This budget proposal is designed to respond to the needs of the majority of our countrymen longing to be uprooted from the decades of: want of basic necessities, inadequate supply of basic services, lack of infrastructures required to spur economic growth, absence of accountability on government coffers, vexing bureaucratic rigmarole, deprived education and unchanged poverty, and geared to achieve a more peaceful and progressive Philippines where the living standards of Filipinos are raised,” Panelo said.
Panelo assured the public that the budget’s biggest slice will be allotted to education, followed by public works, transportation, and health.
Moreover, he said the budget will be spent “wisely to reach a state of vibrant economy that will be felt by the citizenry.”
The Palace expressed hope that the 2020 budget would be approved without any delays.
Duterte convened his Cabinet members at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in Malacañang Monday night for his 40th Cabinet Meeting which tackled his administration’s different programs and policies.
The Presidential Communications Office said the meeting’s goal focused on enabling all Filipinos to attain a comfortable standard of living, as well as promote an inclusive and sustainable growth throughout the country. (First published by PNA, Aug. 6, 2019)