Duterte OKs P4.1 trillion budget for 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Monday the P4.1-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2020 in a ceremony in Malacanang.
In his speech, Duterte did not mention that he vetoed any line item in the budget.
The Palace and even the Department of Budget and Management have yet to issue a copy of the approved law to determine if Duterte had vetoed any provision of the GAA.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr expressed hope that Duterte would veto huge "insertions" the House of Representatives allegedly made in the enrolled bill.
"The passage of the 2020 General Appropriations Act is proof that with the invaluable help of both Houses of Congress, this government can effectively work together towards the enactment of key legislative measures that will support our development agenda in the next two and a half years," the President said in his speech.
He said this year's budget would support the government's vision of a more peaceful and progressive Philippines - an upper bracket-income country that has cut poverty rate to just 14 percent and achieved a 7.5 percent gross domestic product growth by 2022.
He said 36 percent of the budget would fund programs on education, healthcare, housing, and social welfare.
Some 29 percent would be spent in infrastructure, tourism, trade, job generation, and agriculture, while 11 percent would be for debt servicing, with the goal of bringing down government debt to just 39 percent of the GDP by 2022.
Duterte also thanked Congress and the DBM for the passage of the budget bill.
"Let me take this opportunity to thank Congress for supporting this administration’s sound fiscal policies through the continued adoption of the Cash Budgeting System and the full implementation of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program," he said.
Duterte assured that every peso of the budget would "never be used to support the selfish greed of the few, but spent exclusively for the benefit and service of Filipino taxpayers."
The top 10 departments with the largest allocation for this year are the following: Department of Education - P692.6 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways - P581.7 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government - P241.6 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development - P200.5 billion; Department of National Defense - P192.1 billion; Department of Health - P175.9 billion; Department of Transportation - P100.6 billion; Department of Agriculture - P64.7 billion; Judiciary - P41.2 billion; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources - P26.4 billion. Celerina Monte/DMS