MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved the Php 2.606 trillion budget on its third and final reading last Wednesday evening, October 29.
According to PTV News, 197 lawmakers voted for its approval and 27 voted against the General Appropriations Bill of 2015 (House Bill No. 4968) through nominal voting.
The said bill is now endorsed to the Philippine Senate for deliberation.
The budget for 2015 which has been gaining negative criticisms from the public is actually higher by 15.1 percent or P341 billion higher than this year’s budget of Php 2.265 trillion. The budget is currently the highest in the Philippine budget history, which critics describe as a product of the “tradition of connivance and concealment” and surrender of Congress’ “power of the purse.”
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the said budget which is themed as “Paggugol na matuwid: Kaunlaran para sa lahat,” (Spending on the right path: For everybody’s development) aims to bring progress to the entire nation, not leaving behind the poor and intensifying the government’s investments in “priority programs that seek to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Development.”
Where will the budget go?
The Department of Education (DepEd) will still get the highest allocation at Php 364.9 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at Php 213.5 billion and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) at Php 135.4 billion.
Among the three, DPWH gets the highest increase at 40.1%, followed by the DILG at an 11.2% increase, and the DepEd which only increased by 8.3%.
The Departments of National Defense (DND) with Php 123.1 billion; Health (DOH) with Php 87.1 billion; Agriculture (DA), Php 80.7 billion; Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Php 79 billion; Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Php 48.7 billion; Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Php 23.9 billion; and Agrarian Reform (DAR), Php 20.4 billion completes the Top 10 agencies that will get the highest allocation.