By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF
The Duterte administration is dedicating 29 percent of its proposed 2020 national budget of P4.1 trillion to economic services and 11 percent debt relief as the Philippines stays on track as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.
As President Duterte arrived in China today, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) released today, August 29, a breakdown of the proposed budget, reflecting his administration’s aggressive economic policy still highlighted by the “Build, Build, Build” program.
That is why a huge chunk of the proposed budget for infrastructure developmen will be used in funding rail, sea, and air transportation.
The PCOO revealed that P972.5 billion is being alloted by Malacañang for flagship programs and projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway System, the Metro Manila Subway, the MRT Line 3 Rehabilitation, the Mindanao Railway Project, and the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension.
These are all made possible once Congress approves the country’s biggest-ever appropriations bill, which is 12 percent higher than the 2019 national budget.
In its message, the PCOO said the Palace’s proposed budget for 2020 is consistent with the Duterte administration’s “aims to attain a strongly-rooted comfortable and secure life for all Filipinos.”
It said the President seeks to further advance the progress of the Philippines, sustaining the momentum on economic gains and investment in infrastructure as well as balancing the debt.
“The 2020 National Budget, therefore, will aim to build on the fruits and gains of the previous annual expenditure programs of the Administration, not only to ensure but to consolidate the gains, for the bright future of the Philippines and its people. As I vowed in my State of the Nation Address last July 22, 2019, though we cannot change the past, we will not squander the future,” Duterte said in a previous pronouncement before flying to China.
Apart from the economic sector, some of the priority programs and projects of the President is on human development such as the full implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and the institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
A significant part of the budget is also dedicated to the transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the implementation of the Rice Liberalization Act, the creation of the Department for Human Settlements and Urban Development, and the funding of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
In a recent message on the budget, the President also emphasized the government’s thrust in developing cleaner energy to supply the country’s growing needs in business and industry, while at the same time wisely conserving our natural resources.
Speaking in Odiongan, Romblon on August 21, the President lauded the Tumingad Solar Power Project, saying that the initiative highlights the importance of having environmentally compliant power plants to prevent the further degradation of Mother Earth.
He also said that the government will continue to empower farmers to achieve inclusive progress for the nation and called on agrarian reform beneficiaries to support the growth andcdevelopment of agricultural sector through responsible farming.
Confronting another integral part of his leadership, Duterte assured to address corruption in government. He vowed to continue to be aggressive in his anti-corruption drive and “run after erring Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs officials, as well as businesses and individuals cheating the government of taxes,” the PCOO said.